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Kupuno, the young native boy, his bow and arrow slung across his shoulders, a glint of excitement in his eyes ran lithely through the forest, his bare feet barely touching the foliage floor as though he bore wings. His love for adventure and his wild imagination rewarded him with many discoveries- the splendour and the breathtaking spectacle of the forest, chasing rain bows, dancing with fairies and being a little hero of his animal friends. He reached the majestic falls and stared in awe as the cascading water fell hundreds of feet below in smooth and powerfull rhythm. He always came there to marvel at one of nature’s wonders and to search for unusual shaped pebbles for his collection. The ones he liked the best he put in a little satchel across his shoulder and as his little hands searched deftly, he heard a soft crying. Kupuno looked around but saw no one, then a small voice said in between sobs:

“Ooh I’m so doomed”
Kupuno was worried that one of his fairy friends was hurt and his eagle sharp eyes continued to search until he came upon a tiny golden frog sitting on the leaf of a huge lily. He wasn’t sure the crying he heard had been that of the little frog for it was the voice of a girl until it said “Are you not Kupuno?”
He nodded.
“Friend of the fairies?”f2
“Have you ever seen the evil Wizard who lives in the dark caves behind the falls?”
The little frog started to cry again and Kupuno, touched by its sadness said,
“Can you tell me why you are so sad?”
The little frog sighed and hopping onto another leaf, closer to the boy, related a sad tale.
“I’m a water fairy of the falls, rivers and streams, my wing is decorated with gold dust and my garden adored with precious gems where hidden beneath the falls, that’s my home, is a precious stone with great powers – so great that it cannot fall into evil hands for all that’s good and beautiful will become bad and ugly. It was wonderful and peaceful until one day the evil Wizard appeared, his anger was black and his voice shook the leaves of the trees as he said “ I wear a crown that has powers but the one stone that is missing, that will give me greater powers to rule the forest and beyond will be mine for I now know where it’s hidden”
The little frog trembled as it continued and Kupuno listened truly intrigued.
“I was the Guardian of the Stone, I could not let it fall in the Wizard’s hand so I created a distraction whilst the other fairies moved the stone but when the Wizard realised what had happened, he had turned to me in great anger and unleashed a wicked spell. “You little fairy princess whose wings glittered with gold, I will turn you into a frog until you bring to me the precious stone!”
He had laughed wickedly and disappeared, leaving me and my sister scared and hopeless.”
Kupuno was silent for a while then he said “How can the spell be broken?”
“I’ve been wandering the forest to find someone to help me” said the princess frog “but no one can.”
Kupuno feeling really sorry for her took her back to her home and promised her to find a way to break the spell. He spoke to all his friends with magical powers but the Wizard was too strong because of the dark forces of evil he possessed.
It was as though the fairy princess was doomed to leave as a frog forever.
But Kupuno did not give up. He had promised to help her and he searched the forest ever day until one day he was sent to a river inlet where lived an old pale skinned woman of an older tribe who brew potions to ward off evil spirits. But because of the Wizard’s power the only way to break the spell was to steal the crown and destroy it thus weakening his power. It would not be wise Kupuno knew, brave-hearted as he was to descend in the Wizard’s cave because evil creatures lived within and danger would be lurking at every corner. It was wiser to wait until dusk when the Wizard came out to the foot of the falls, a ritual, the old woman had said and when he takes off the crown to lie in the rejuvenating water of the pool that would be the only chance Kupuno had at snatching it. He spoke to the fairies of his plan and that day as the sun set and dusk silently crept in, Kupuno waited near to the foot of the falls, secluding himself in the thick shrubs and watched enthralled and the Wizard descended from his cave. Kupuno waited for the right moment and in one swift, flawless movement he grabbed the crown and ran like he had never done before. It was one of the bravest actions of his adventurous little life and as he ran he heard the Wizard shout of rage and the crashing tree limbs as the evil pursued him. The fairies impeded the Wizard’s flight as best as they could to allow Kupuno time to get to the falls where the frog princess waited. He reached and put the crown at her feet.
“This, little princess, will have to be destroyed to transfer you back to yourself.”
The Wizard appeared but too late for the fairies had gathered and with the power of each wand, the crown was set into flames and the stones burnt to ashes.
The Wizard flew into a black rage and screamed vengeance before disappearing. Kupuno turned to the frog princess and saw in its place a very beautiful fairy, her wings glinting with gold dust and he felt pleased in his heart for he had kept his promise to help her. She touched him with her magic wand, thanking him for helping to break the spell and told him she would always be there for him whenever he needed her. Kupuno had found another wonderful friend with magical powers as his adventures continues.

(By Maureen Rampertab)

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