How the Kiwi lost his wings
Tanemahuta was looking very sad because his children were
dying one by one.
Tanemahuta’s children, the towering
Totara and the kingly Kauri were
being eaten by ravenous, crawling
Tanemahuta called out to all his
children of the air and asked them for a
volunteer to live on the forest floor.
First he asked the Tui but he thought the ground was too cold
Next he asked the Pukeko, who replied with a shiver in his voice
that he did not want to get his feet wet on the damp ground.
The Pipiwharauroa also declined because he was building a nest
for his children.
Finally Tanemahuta asked the Kiwi who answered bravely in a
strong, clear voice “I will!”
Tanemahuta was overjoyed but realised that he must warn the
kiwi of what it means to live on the ground. He explained that
he would lose his colourful wings because he would not be able to
fly anymore and that his legs would have to grow thick and
strong so that he could pull apart the wood on the hard cold
Tanemahuta punished the birds that would not help him by
giving the Tui two white feathers at his throat as a mark of
cowardice. He banished Pukeko to live in a swamp forever.
Next he told Pipiwharauroa that he would never build his own
nest again but would have to use other bird’s nests for his eggs.
Finally the gallant and brave kiwi was rewarded with the
knowledge, that he would always be remembered as the most
well known and famous bird of them all.