Mako was born on the uninhabited, and unknown eighth island of Hawaii. The island is not well known because it’s a great shame to the people of the powerful nation that destroyed it.
Years earlier Mako’s island was inhabited by a happy, and peaceful people. They respected the land, and sang songs of joy, but over time that joy would turn to great sorrow. The invaders from that terrifying, and far off land cared not for peace, nor for joy. They were destructive by nature, and had annihilated the island by fire that rained down from the sky. What kind of beings would destroy one of the world’s most beautiful places? And for what ends?
Because of the destruction left behind by the people of that powerful nation, the island’s peaceful native inhabitants lost their joy, and fled in great fear from their homeland. At that time, they did not know that they would never return. Today what remains on this unknown island are but vast wastelands, incomparable destruction, and great mourning. That, and Mako!
Nobody knows of Mako’s origin. It’s as if he had always been. It’s as if he was always there, in the shadows, just waiting for his chance to shine, like the sun above shines on each, and every one of us from time to time.
Mako survived on this unknown island by eating berries, and seaweed.
The day finally came when Mako was strong enough to swim to the nearby island of Maui, so he could attend school. On his first day, the teacher called role. When each of the children’s names was called out, they answered by shouting the word, here! Mako prepared himself to shout out the same response. But, when the teacher called out, “Mako Shark”, all of the children screamed, and ran into the mountains, and to the safety of their homes.
From that day forward whenever anyone saw Mako approaching they’d scream, “shark”, and everyone would run. This made Mako very sad, as he didn’t understand why nobody liked him. He didn’t understand why nobody wanted to be his friend. Was it his steel blue eyes that could pierce through the sun? Was it his strong fins that helped him to swim faster than any fish in the sea? Or was it something else? All he knew was that he was always alone. He longed for a friend. That’s all Mako wanted. He only wanted a friend!
Why was it that nobody seemed to care for Mako? Was it because he lived alone in a hut that he had made himself with palm branches, and taro leafs? He thought it might be that, because most everyone else lived in big majestic houses that sat on the top of the hills. Whatever it was, nobody ever came to call.
One day Mako discovered a beautiful house. It was right on the shore, and strangely nobody lived there. It was one of the most beautiful houses on the entire island of Maui. Mako thought, “If I make that house my home, people will like me, and then I’ll have many friends.” But as Mako tried to enter, he quickly discovered that the door was locked. And when he tried to open it, a loud noise blared from within, repeating itself again, and again, and still again. Mako was so frightened by this loud clatter that he dove into the sand, and hid there until long after the noise had subsided. Now, Mako was quite sure that he’d never find a friend.
It wasn’t long before the seasonal trade winds began to blow. They blew, and they blew until Mako’s hut was no more. Having no friends, and no home to live in, Mako returned to the uninhabited, and unknown island of his origin. There he sat on the island’s highest point known as Pu’u Moaulanui, and as the sun set, he looked out upon Lanai, then Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Niihau, and finally the biggest one of them all. He thought, “How can there be so many people in this world, yet it’s so difficult to find a friend?” Mako sat on the top of Pu’u Moaulanui until late into the evening. Each island began to light up from houses that covered the mountains. There were more lights coming from the island homes than there were stars over Mako’s head that filled the sky.
Mako decided he had enough of these land dwelling creatures, and vowed to spend the rest of his life living beneath the sea. He then began to cry. He also knew that whenever he cried, or grew too lonely in the sea, nobody would be able to tell because not only his eyes would be wet, but the rest of him as well. Mako then cried himself to sleep under the stars that flickered above. As Mako slept, one by one the lights on the homes that filled the tops of the mountains began to go out. On the top of Pu’u Moaulanui, Mako dreamed of the new friends he would make, in the new life he would make for himself living under the sea.
Early the next morning Mako rose, and headed toward the shore. He sidestepped several bomb fragments, and the huge craters they had left behind. He carefully stepped around all of the dangerous obstacles that filled this once beautiful island. All of these dangerous objects were the results of the scary people whom he had learned had come from that powerful land that was so far away. Mako finally reached the shore, and then slowly slipped into the water. He turned to look at his lonely island for one last time, because he knew that he was leaving it forever. Mako knew that he would never return there again.
Mako spent his days swimming about, and searching for new friends. But just as the land dwelling people had always done, the sea creatures avoided him as well. Whenever he came upon a beautiful reef, immediately all of the fish would scatter. School under the sea was no different than school on the land. Whenever he tried to attend, someone would scream, “shark”, and class was immediately dismissed. To Mako, the ocean was just as lonely as the silent sand that filled the shores of Hawaii’s numerous beautiful beaches.
Despite being constantly avoided, Mako still loved to visit the island children, and watch as they bobbed in the clear blue surf. But, whenever he tried to join in someone would yell, “Mako Shark”, and they’d all scream, and swim to the shore. There was simply no way to avoid this terrible dilemma.
With no friend on land, or in the sea, (or in the air for that matter), Mako decided to head out to the deep, deep depths of the ocean. This was a place where no creature dwelt. He would remain in that great dark abyss until the day came when the seabed shuttered with a furious roar, which was then followed by a violent quaking.
Although it was warm as always in the islands of Hawaii, it was mid-winter. This was the season for riding the largest waves of the year. On this day, there was to be a great contest at Peʻahi, which was a place that had become a famous surfing spot on the north shore of the island of Maui.
All of the world’s greatest surfers congregated on the shore, as towering waves crashed on the outer reef. The waves were so large, and so fierce that not even the bravest riders dared to enter the water. But, there was one rider, a brave young man named Lance who decided to paddle out, and challenge, not only the biggest waves ever ridden, but also his greatest fears.
As Lance prepared to paddle out, a crowd began gathering along the cliffs of Peʻahi. Lance crouched alone on the shore, and gazed out at the powerful sea. Not only could he smell its mesmerizing scent, he recognized the beauty in all of its power, and mysteries. Lance knew that what he was about to embark upon was incredibly dangerous, but he also knew that letting this opportunity pass was much worse than the dangers that possibly awaited him.
As Lance stood, and picked up his board, the crowd cheered. He ran to the shores edge, and dove in. He stroked powerfully at the waters surface, and headed out toward the vast open sea that lay before him. Before long Lance located the right position, sat on his board, and looked back toward the shore. There he could see the crowd was even larger than it had previously been.
Ironically, not only did Lance want to ride the largest wave ever ridden, and challenge his fears, he also wanted to run away and hide under a rock. He thought, “What an odd position I now find myself in.” Lance turned back toward the sea, and focused on why he was there, as huge mountains of water rolled beneath him.
And that’s when it happened.
Mako had been sulking at the bottom of that great depth amidst a mass of debris that floated down upon him. Then suddenly the sea floor ripped open. The affect was so terrible that Mako, and all that rubble around him was sucked into that massive crevice, which stretched many fathoms deep.
With all his power, and with all his might, Mako desperately charged back to where the seas floor had previously been. He dodged to his right to avoid a discarded boat engine. He leaped to his left to avoid being hit by a stream of waste. Finally, he turned quickly to his right again to prevent being slammed against several other objects that were being sucked into that huge, and vacuous opening.
Now, what had only moments ago been a calm surface was the top of an underwater mountain. Looking across the ocean, Mako could see that the displaced water raced toward the shore. Mako had experienced this kind of danger before. The results were always that children who were playing along the shore would be at risk of being swept out to sea. He also knew none of them could swim as well as he, and if they were unable to somehow survive, their mother’s would miss them, and cry terribly.
As fast as he could, Mako made it to the shores of Lanai. There he showed his great set of teeth, and frightened all of the children so terribly, that they ran to the safety of their mountaintop homes. Next, it was Molokai, then to Oahu, Kauai, and Niihau. The Big Island was so great, and so far away that Mako had to swim with all his might, power, and determination to get there. When he arrived on the beaches of Kona, Mako was nearly spent, yet he endured, and managed to chase all of the children far from the sea. Lastly, there was Maui, and he didn’t have a moment to spare. Mako raced toward the surface of the ocean, and shot out like a cannonball. As he soared above the surface of the sea, he looked out upon the ocean, and saw that great, and terrible wave fast approaching.
As the wave rapidly approached the shore Mako went from beach to beach chasing the children away from the ocean. First it was Kihei, followed by Lahaina, Flemings, and then Kahului. However, as Mako was saving lives by frightening children away from the shores, Lance was paddling desperately out toward the sea. He barely made it over each of the succession of waves, which would then violently explode behind him.
Car horns blared out from the cliff of Peahi, warning Lance as to the imminent doom that awaited him.
As he furiously tried to paddle further out toward the expansive horizon, and with all of his strength leaving him, it would be at this moment that Lance would finally face his greatest fear. This terror would be the largest wave Lance had ever seen, and it was already beginning to pitch far out in front of him.
Lance thought of his little girl, and hoped that she was safe in the mountains. He said, a prayer to the powerful gods of the sea, and hoped they would intervene sparing him from the tragic fate that awaited him. Lance then closed his eyes, and prepared for that huge body of white water that was about to engulf him. And just as that mighty wave was about to cover him, Lance leaped from his board, and into the sea.
Suddenly, Mako grabbed Lance by the seat of his britches, and quickly pulled him under. Deeper, and deeper they went. The further down they went, the colder, and denser the water became. It then became dark as night, as that wall of water roared past overhead, and slammed into the cliffs of Peahi. Fortunately, by then all of the cars that had been along the cliff were already gone.
It was silent now, and Mako let go of Lance’s britches. That great surfer, and the lonely little shark boy looked at each other. Lance smiled at Mako. Mako was greatly surprised by this, and said, “You’re smiling at me?” Lance shook his head, yes. Mako motioned with his fin, and repeated what he had said, “You’re smiling at me? At me?” Again, Lance shook his head, yes. Mako was so happy that he began rapidly swimming circles around Lance, which helped the surfer ascend more rapidly to the surface.
Lance’s head then popped out of the sea. He took a deep breath. Lance thought of his daughter, and wanted to go find her, and give her a great big hug. Lance felt at his britches where there were several tooth holes, but no damage to his behind. It was only then that Lance realized the impact of what Mako had done.
Mako popped his head out of the water, and Lance smiled widely. He said, “Mako you’re my best friend.” Lance then shook Mako’s fin. Mako was so delighted that he circled several more times around Lance, and leaped for joy.
That evening it would be reported that everyone from all of the Hawaiian seven known islands were safe. None of the children had been injured from that great, and terrible wave.
Mako’s tale, (the story that is) became legendary, and from that day forward all of the children allowed him to swim around their feet whenever they bobbed in the sunny surf. From then on, the only time the children screamed whenever Mako was around was when he would sneak up behind them, and tickle their toes.
Written by Stack Jones. © 2015. All rights reserved.