A long time ago, the people of Funtu lived happily. They worked hard and produced much food. They loved each other. The King was kind: everybody loved him. Ng’uono lived in the village. Because she was barren, men refused to marry her. Elders forcefully married Ng’uono to Jater, an old man. Ng’uono and Jater had no friends. Despite being treated badly, they were not bitter. They humbly accepted their situation. One day, there was a feast. As usual, Ng’uono and Jater were not invited. From their home, they heard people singing and shouting joyfully. Suddenly, the music stopped. Cries of agony filled the air. Curious, Jater and Ng’uono came out. What they saw frightened them. Creatures bigger than millet granaries, with eyes as big as cooking pots surrounded the village. These odd-looking beings had hairy bodies, with claws for toes. Ng’uono and Jater trembled just from looking at them. “Those are monsters. Let us run,” Ng’uono said fearfully. “No. They will reach us in no time and eat us up,” Jater said. “Come with me,” he said, taking his wife by the hand.They hid in a hole under a big tree. They could hear people crying as the monsters chased them. The noise stopped after a long time. “Wait here. I will go and see what is happening,” Jater said to his wife. “You cannot go out there! You will be killed,” Ng’uono objected. Jater ignored her and slid out of the hole. There was not a single person. The monsters had flattened all the huts. The crops were all destroyed. Shocked, Jater stood out there, lost in thought.Back in the hole, Ng’uono was worried about her husband. Unable to wait any longer, she came out and saw him. “Oh! What destruction!” she moaned. Walking towards him, she asked, “What shall we do?” “I don’t know,” Jater replied sadly. They sat under the big tree and soon fell asleep. Ng’uono was woken by the cry of a bird perched on her forehead. “Wake up. What happened?” asked the bird. Sobbing, she told him the story. “Wake up your husband and follow me,” the bird commanded. After walking for several days, the bird led them to a valley, green with vegetation, beautiful flowers and clear streams. “This is your new home. There are crops of all types: harvest them and eat.” After saying this, the bird turned to fly away. “Oh! Before I leave…Ng’uono, take good care of your son. Bye.” “What are you talking about? I am…” she started but the bird had already flown away. Jater and his wife remained standing, unable to understand. Jater gave birth to a baby boy a few months later. They called him Rawera, the comforter. Rawera grew up strong and obedient. One afternoon, while he was out hunting, he saw huge footprints at the edge of the forest. The footprints were bigger than any he had seen before. Afraid but curious, he followed the footprints. Deeper and deeper he went into the thick forest. The forest was so dark that he could not find his way through. Tired, he sat under the nearest tree and fell sleep, his dog beside him. The barking of the dog woke him. Sleepily, he stood up. And then he heard it: a voice stronger than thunder. It came from deep inside the forest. He could not understand what the voice said. Soon, there were more voices, equally loud. The earth shook and trees swayed. Frightened, Rawera ran. Fear, hunger and confusion slowed him tremendously. The slower he ran, the louder the voices became. Finally, he reached the edge of the forest and collapsed. He could no longer hear the terrible voices. He rested for a few minutes and walked home. “Where have you been,” his mother asked. “Mother, I was just out hunting.” “Never stay late in the forest: it is dangerous,” warned his father. He did not tell them what happened. For many days after, Rawera thought about the voices. He was sure the creatures were not human. Determined to find out, he made several poisoned arrows and spears. He hid these carefully. For many months, he trained his dog and fed it well. Sibuor grew large and fierce. Satisfied with his preparations, Rawera set out at dawn one day. He took his weapons and told his parents that he was going hunting. At the edge of the forest, he stopped to eat, rest and feed his dog. Soon after, they entered the forest. They walked for a long, long time without hearing any sound. Rawera was disappointed but he walked on. “Stop!” a voice called from above. He looked up anxiously but did not see anything and walked on. “I said stop. You will be killed,” the shrill voice said again. “Who are you and how do you know where I am going?” Rawera asked. A bird landed on his forehead, scaring him. He jumped to one side, ready to attack. “Do not kill me. I want to save you,” the bird said, perching on Sibuor’s head. “The voices you heard the other time belong to monsters. They ate your ancestors. I am sure your parents told you this. Now, go back home.” Whaaat? Monsters live here?” Rawera asked. “Believe it: in this forest live many monsters,” the bird confirmed. “You say these monsters ate my people? How then can you tell me to go back? I will find and kill them all. Show me where to find them,” Rawera said defiantly. “Well, I have warned you. Come with me.” The bird led Rawera and Sibuor further into the forest. “Look over there,” he said upon reaching a clearing. Rawera trembled at the sight before him: many giants seated round a big fire. Their bodies were hairy. Smoke escaped from their big noses. Seeing how frightened Rawera was, the bird said, “I told you. You cannot fight them, can you?” “Bu-u-t they killed my people. I must kill them,” Rawera stammered. “Because you are so determined, I will help you,” said the bird. “When you shoot at them, aim for the palm. Go now.” His dog beside him, Rawera walked into the clearing. The monsters smelled him many metres away, stood as one and walked to meet him, saliva pouring from their big mouths. Terrified, Rawera turned back and ran. “Do not run. Turn back and shoot,” the bird encouraged him. He turned, took aim and fired his first arrow. One of the monsters swallowed it. “Shoot at the palm,” the bird shouted. The monsters were approaching fast. Rawera let go another arrow. He aimed at the palm and felled one monster. Encouraged, he shot the monsters rapidly. Only one remained, the biggest of them. Rawera had only one arrow left. “Wait,” the bird called out. “Let Sibuor go out and meet him. Then shoot the monster through the left ear.” Rawera commanded his dog to attack the monster. As the monster picked Sibuor to swallow him, Rawera shot him through the left ear. The monster died.“Cut the monster’s big toe,” the bird ordered Rawera. When he did, all the people who had been eaten by the monsters came out. They were excited to be back. They thanked Rawera.They all walked to the valley where Rawera and his parents lived. Jater and Ng’uono were happy to see all the people of the village. After listening to Rawera’s story, everybody was proud of him. They made him chief. All villagers now respected Ng’uono and Jater.