Grandfather and the Star-Bird
By Jeff Baker
I must have been about two or three when my Grandmother started telling me the story.
“I was a little girl, like you,” she said. “When the big ship came down from the sky. It almost landed in the rice fields and my Grandmother was furious. The people stepped out of the ship and declared that they were gods.”
Grandmother snorted. “Well, in my village, we knew the Gods and these people weren’t the Gods. Still, we waited to see what they had to offer. It was my Grandfather who went up to speak to them. They were a little taller than he was and wore metal masks, but they were men.”
“Well, the men from the ship told my Grandfather that they needed something to make the Star Bird (as they called it) move. My Grandfather said; ‘Oh, you mean fuel, like for an Ox.’ The men told him what they needed, and after a few moments, my Grandfather realized what it was they were describing, and set out to make a bargain.”
“A bargain for what, Grandma?” I asked.
“Coffee beans,” Grandma said. “Can you imagine? Well, yes you can, you’ve heard your Grandfather after his morning coffee. Anyhow, my Grandmother knew that if they realized how common it was we would get nothing. So the deal was made, the beans procured and the men and their silver ship left.”
And Grandmother smiled and hugged me.
“And someday I will show you and your brother what Grandfather gave me; the gift from the strange men in the Star-Bird.”