A Cat and Fish

In Ireland, there’s a stone that sits just to the side of the geographic center of the island. It is believed the Goddess Eriu, Eire, or Erin, was buried under this stone. The Irish call it the Cat Stone, because it looks like a cat.

I was reminded of this stone while walking through the Bishop Museum here on Oahu. On the first floor of the main hall sits a stone with a face. I swear it was staring at me. Really. It has eyes and a mouth and leans forward slightly. Since I was in a museum, I didn’t take photos. If you Google, “Kaneikokala” you’ll find the stone.

Early in the 1900’s, a native Hawaiian continually had dreams of this stone whereby it was telling him he wanted out of the cold. This man followed his dream. Buried under dirt and grass and lying in water, was the stone, recognized as a fish god.

The Bishop Museum took charge of the stone and anchored the fish god into the floor with cement. When renovating the museum in 2006, they tried to remove the stone and place him outside in a more revered spot. After digging and digging through cement, the stone wouldn’t move. Finally, they left the fish god in the main exhibit hall, where he now stares at the entrance, safe and warm.

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