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aussie 05-08-2002 11:53 PM

A legend from the Morobe Province
 
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How the Cassowary became a Flightless Bird - A Legend from the Morobe Province

Long ago, the cassowary was a big bird with a long neck, large legs and big wings which enabled it to fly about like all the other birds of the forest.

At that time, the cassowary and the hornbill were the best of friends, and spent most of their time flying around together, feeding on the delicious fruits at the top of the trees.

Although they started as very good friends, the hornbill became increasingly jealous of the cassowary, who with his long neck that could be stretched out, always got the best of the fruit. The poor hornbill had to be content with what was left over.

The hornbill disguised his jealousy, but at the same time began to plan a trick that would punish the cassowary.

One day the horbill broke two dried sticks off the branch of a tree, placed them beneath each wing, tucked within the feathers, and then flew off to join the cassowary at the place where they usually met.

The hornbill said to the cassowary: "I have an idea. After we have fed on the fruit and are satisfied, let us do some stylish tricks in the air to see who is the braver and more skilled."

The cassowary liked the idea and agreed. "But", added the hornbill, "each of us must break his wings to see how far he can fly with his wings broken."

The cassowary had no objection to this, so when they had satisfied themselves on all the fruit, they were ready for the game. The hornbill volunteered to go first.

Pretending to break his two wings, he snapped the two dry sticks beneath his wings and then flew away. He performed some stylish tricks in the air and then flew to a nearby tree to perch. The hornbill then called upon the cassowary to do better than he had done.

The cassowary, ignoring the pain he had to suffer, broke his wings, one by one. Then he stretched them to fly away. Instead, he crashed to the ground.

The hornbill broke into laughter at the top of his voice and ridiculed the cassowary: "You have always had the most and the best of the fruit, but now you can stay down belo9w and feed on my waste while I enjoy the best of the forest."

From then until this day, the cassowary has been a bird of the ground, with short wings and the sad inability to fly.

A legend from Garaina in the Morobe Province, as told by STEPHEN SUIJ and written by JOSEPH MAKE. Stephen is from Belaok village in the Morobe Province and attended De La Salle, Bereina before going to Sogeri.

Joseph is from Doumori village in the Western Province and attended Daru High School.

The legend is illustrated by APOLOSA KUWABU from Wabununa village on Woodlark Island in the Milne Bay Province. Apolosa attended Wesley High School on Fergusson before going to Sogeri.

Tricked by the cunning hornbill:


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