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A long time ago when Aotearoa was unheard of, all you could see was the greens of the forest and hear the sounds of the bird’s songs. There were many birds hidden in the dark forest but there was one particular bird that was very different from all the others. Manu the kaka was a very depressed and sad bird he was very embarrassed as he had a blunt beak and unattractive brown feathers. All the other birds in the forest were beautifully feathered with bright colours that shone in the sun. Those birds were cocky. They teased Manu (the kaka) all of the time. They got praised for the work they did Kaka (Manu) didn’t get praised at all even though he worked the hardest and fastest of all the birds. One night Manu was walking along the damp, mucky forest floor when a sudden flash of these lights blinded him. Manu got a fright. As the adrenalin rushes down his body, he starts running. Faster and faster .He flapped his wings gaining height to try reaching the branch but CRASH, BOOM, BANG he fell weak slipping down the hard firm tree trunk, his beak scraping along making a piercing sound like fingernails on a blackboard. He reached to bottom and sighed. He peered out the corner of his eye to see the other birds sniggering and pointing at him. He sat there and sobbed. He realised he couldn’t just sit there and listen to the sound of the arrogant birds. He got up holding his head high with a bit of dignity left in him. He flew, higher and higher into the amazing lights the lights lashing on his body. Green, Brown and Red firing out like a bomb. Manu the kaka glides around the night sky admiring the beautiful lights and the peace and serenity of the moment, but not for long the red light puncture Manu under his wings the green slashes like a fugus spreading rapidly.

Manu floats down in agony craving for some love and happiness. As he hits the forest floor on the dark gloomy night. He sends out a giant sigh as if it was his last breath then slowly dozes off. The morning light sprung as many rose. Life was exactly the same but something felt a little peculiar something felt strange. Manu went to do his normal feed on grubs. When he started to eat, something was wrong he found it easier to eat. He soon realized that his beak was pointy. How confusing he thought. Then Manu figured out that when he slid down the tree it must have given a bit of a spruce up then all the other birds started staring at him going bright red the started looking at each other they were gobsmacked he had red under his wings! They were clueless to how this happened. Manu thought about it he was the same as everybody else nobody could tease him anymore Manu realised that it was the southern lights that changed him, from that day on Kaka around are now known for having red under their wings and a sharp beak. By Georgia and Lauryn.

Kaka Legend by Lauryn