The Singing Dogs in the Wind

Female/50/German, English, Northern European
Location: Makaha Valley, Oahu

We moved to Oahu in September 1969 and my family moved to Makaha valley in 1971, roughly. It was great back then, was still pretty much country kine style; every family lot was good size, like a quarter acre. Our property had big mango trees and the back of the property was untamed, just plenty tall grass and koa, good for cutting trails, making forts and flying kites bought from the old corner store, when had good wind!
We lived on an old bumpy road. Pretty much was all old bumpy roads back then. Kaulaili road was our road with a long driveway to the property. Nobody ever came our house for trick or treat, too spooky! First year we lived there my mom bought candy to give out but no one would come down the long dark driveway to the house! Us kids never mind though cause we scored extra candy!

On our property had two houses: one large house that was actually half of a barracks, and a smaller house that was officer quarters: old crystal doorknobs and windows that were operated by rope pulleys, big heavy doors in the main house. It was a cool place to live for a kid, but also spooky.

I remember one night I was alone in the big house while my brothers and their friends were hanging out in the small house. My parents were out for the evening. I was young grade school age, alone in the main house sitting in my dad's recliner watching one of three channels just before had cable. I was happy I got to watch whatever I wanted since we only had one TV back then. It was dark and never have any wind, only little bit light on in the house, fairly quiet except once in a while hearing my brother them laughing next door, sucking 'em up, making fun of each other!

Then from far away up the valley I could hear a faint noise, like dogs barking and howling. Then could hear it a little bit louder. As this captured my attention, it seemed as though the sound was moving down the valley coming our way. I noticed another sound with it; it sounded like wind, best I could make out, yet all was quiet with our dogs and no breeze blowing, more still then anything. I listened as it came closer, now able to tell it was traveling from the back of the valley down toward the ocean, traveling through each road one at a time. You could hear the change as soon as it hit the next road down. The dogs on that road would begin to howl and singsong as dogs do when they're alerting about seeing something like a spirit. As the next road of dogs began to make noise, the dogs from the previous road would become quiet. As it moved closer road by road you could hear a loud wind through the trees, although not yet in our yard. Finally it came closer and closer until it was on our road.

All the dogs on our road began to sing and howl and the once still trees began to shake and sway from a strong wind rustling the leaves. Then a strong gust of wind blew through our house slamming every door shut one by one! As it moved on to the next road closer to the ocean, our dogs quieted and the trees settled, beginning again with the dogs on the next road until all sound stopped, our place quiet, the trees still, the dogs quiet.

Later I had been told by my friend's parents of how the spirits travel from the heiau in the valley towards the ocean and back again. I listened as they told me of night marchers and what the dogs see and how they respond. Thus began Auntie's education, with many more experiences to follow.

Aloha to all the kupunas who raised the young haole girl with love giving me the sense of Ohana and love that was missing in my own home. Mahalo Nui Loa to my Hawaiian Aunties and Uncles and the beautiful local people who became my Ohana.