At low tide one morning a man, walking the reef at Gebar (Two Brothers Island), noticed sea grass, nipped off short during the night by dugongs. Wanting to catch one, the man hurried home to tell his wife and prepared for hunting. In preparation, he cut six long poles mangrove poles for a free-standing fishing platform called a nadth, erecting it near the sea grass bed where the dugong had previously been feeding. He then collected a long single length of vine as a harpoon rope. He lay the harpoon and spear on his nadth and waited for nightfall. As soon as it was dark, he lit a small fire on the beach and when the tide rose, swam straight out to the nadth, then watched for the dugong to come and resume feeding from the previous night. Glancing at his fire on the beach, to his horror he saw Kawai the wicked black dogai, standing luridly beside it. Turning her head from side to side, she peered out at the reef, trying to locate the dugong nadth, looking for the hunter – himself!! Noiselessly, he picked up his harpoon and spear, slid into the water and swam as fast as he could, unnoticed, towards a rocky point. On the other side, out of Kawai’s sight, he went ashore and ran home. He woke no one, going straight to his sleeping mat, cowering inside. For a long time he lay sleepless, trembling at the narrowness of his escape from the wicked black dogai.
Meanwhile, Kawai had discovered the empty platform and guessed that the hunter must have seen her and fled. She soon spied his tracks beyond the rocky point and was already following them when her intended victim reached his hut. She stood outside awhile, until she judged him to be asleep and then went into where he laid his harpoon and spear on the ground beside him. By and by, she ate him, leaving only his bones inside the mat. In the morning, the men in the village went to see what luck he had had fishing during the night. ‘Where is your husband?’ they said, ‘wake him’, so she sent her children to rouse their father. Then from inside the house they cried frantically, ‘father is dead, he has been eaten’. The woman rushed to the mat and saw the bones inside. Grieving the loss, the villagers of Gebar made a platform to smoke his bones, as is custom. In the meantime, the elders sat together and began scheming a way they might trick and put to death the evil Kawai.
For a long while Kawai could not be sighted by the people of Gebar and soon they became careless. One day, two brothers went fishing on the reef at Walikum, the younger stringing the fish as the elder speared them. On the way home the younger brother, only a small boy, got left behind. Kawai, fearing the mood of the people after she ate the dugong hunter, had stayed well away from everyone on the island, but she had, nevertheless kept an eye on the movements of each and every person from her hilltop cave, Bugan Kula, and she now saw a chance to grab humans without anyone being the wiser. So, she hurried down to the reef, and assuming the face of the boys’ mother, called to him with his mother’s voice, ‘come my child’ hearing her, the child ran to her happily. Kawai took him in her arms, raised him to her shoulders and strode off with him back home to her cave. She never permitted the boy to leave the cave, keeping him a close prisoner, but she fed him well the whole time, until he had grown big and strong. One day she said to him,’ not this moon, but the second moon, I will kill you and eat you.’ The boy knew that he must very soon find an opportunity to escape. It came when Kawai went off for three days to dig yams. The moment she was out of reach of hearing, he squeezed through the narrow cave opening and ran all the way to the village. He told the elders of his captivity and how the evil dogai had tricked him into thinking she was his mother.
The villagers decided to act quickly and pressed their plan into action. They constructed a ladder and stood it against a tree, high into the branches, where they built a platform for the men to hide. The top two rungs were made to look strong but were made of fragile wood. The men sat down on the platform, each with bows and arrows beside them. The women hid in the grass armed with clubs. Kawai had only dug three or four yams from the ground when her digging stick broke. After the third digging stick broke, she instinctively knew something was wrong at home and sensed the boy had escaped. Running back to Bugan Kula cave, she became wild with rage and cursed the boy, dressing up in her most devious looking way, picked up a big stick, and ran furiously down the hill to seek him out. The men waiting on the platform could follow her progress, because birds flew up from trees as she reached them. The men called to the others, ‘make ready – the dogai is coming’ and positioned the small boy at the foot of the ladder, armed with bow and arrow. When Kawai reached the bottom of the ladder she threatened the boy as he moved up the ladder, screeching ‘you ran away, but you will die today, and so will everyone else’. Step by step she climbed the ladder until she put her feet on the two rungs at the top, crashing to the ground. The boy quickly shot an arrow into her heart. All the village women dashed out from their hiding place in the grass and beat the dogai with their clubs and the men bolted down from the tree platform to cut off her head with a bamboo knife. Finally, the people united and rejoiced and made a roaring bonfire, which they threw the body parts of that wicked black dogai.