"How the Orchids Grew" (Transcription)

By Melesha J. Pesone
Sari Primary
Grade Eight

Long long ago in the thick bush of Sou Valley, there lived some birds called Maiole, some cuscus, and some dogs. They were very best friends and shared everything together. Where they lived, they had a sing sing ground where they always came together and danced.

One day while they were dancing, a dog felt thirsty so he went to a creek beneath a small hill to drink water. When he drank the water tasted so nice and sweet. He had never tasted water like that in his lifetime before. The dog wanted to find out what made the water taste so sweet, so he followed upstream until he reached a certain place where he noticed a dead cuscus laying there. The dog smelled it and ate it. It was nice and sweet. The sweetness of it could not be compared with any other thing.

Later in the evening when the sing sing was over the dog went to where they used to live. In the night, while the birds, cuscus, and some of the dogs were asleep, he secretly told another dog of what he had tasted during the day.

He said, “Hay mate, don’t you know that I ate something so sweet you have never eaten before?”

“Tell me what you ate and what was it?” said the other dog.

“Well, during the day while we were dancing, I felt thirsty so I went to drink water from the creek. There lay a dead cuscus, so I smelled it, and it was good, so I ate it. Therefore, the cuscus and birds are good for our food so we should eat them.”

He further suggested that they should tell every other dog that they should kill all the cuscus and the birds at the sing sing ground and eat them. When the dogs were talking the bird heard them talk like that, so he went off to tell the other birds and the cuscus of the dogs’ plan to kill them. He told the cuscus to run away and climb up the trees while he told the birds to fly high up to the trees.

Early the next morning, the dogs, cuscus, and the birds gathered to dance at the sing sing ground. While dancing, the birds and the cuscus were careful in case the dogs might kill them.

Suddenly, the dogs gave a bark and chased the birds and the cuscus, and the cuscus climbed up the trees while the birds flew to the trees and escaped. The dogs were too late to kill a bird or a cuscus because they were already up on the trees looking down.

The dogs in their frustration looked up from the ground and said, “You birds are not allowed to throw your waste or excreta down to the ground but must hold back and excrete on the trees.”

From then onwards, the Maiole birds excreted not to the ground, but put it on the branch of the trees. A plant began to grow from where the excreta was dumped and is called a kombembe plant. Now in this time, people call it an orchid plant.