Call It Courage Questions and Answers
by Armstrong Sperry

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Who is Kivi in Call It Courage?

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In Call it Courage, Kivi the albatross is one of Mafatu's animal companions. He develops a close bond with Mafatu after the young boy saves him from the other albatrosses, who bully Kivi mercilessly because he's disabled (one of his feet is smaller than the other).

Though Kivi is constantly harassed and attacked by the other birds, he always stands his ground, and Mafatu greatly admires him for the courage he displays in defending himself. As Mafatu himself so much wants to be thought courageous by his people, he instinctively warms to this gutsy young albatross, seeing him as a role model in some way.

In due course, Kivi learns to fly, and when he does is able to find his own food. Once he takes to the air, his disability no longer matters; he achieves absolute perfection, floating serenely against the sky while an envious Mafatu looks on from down below. If only he too could escape to another world like this!

In metaphorical terms, Kivi's independence represents the condition that Mafatu so desperately wants for himself. He wants to be an independent young man capable of standing on his own two feet, able to overcome adversity just like the albatross and soar to the very heights.

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