Saturday, 13 August 2011

Ahu names the baby (Part 5)

Ahuahu however could not yet leave Ahu and the baby to talk to the other village men. He wanted to look at them both. Ahu seemed a little puzzled that he wanted to unwrap the baby from the flax cloth wrapping and to touch the little one tenderly, looking first at the baby and then to her beaming with pride.
The baby snuffled at the unwrapping and uttered little whimpering sounds but did not cry. Ahuahu could see the baby was a boy and that Ahu had wrapped his little bottom in soft dry moss. He showed concern at the remnant of the umbilical cord darkening now after it had been sliced off. He kept turning to Ahu smiling and eventually she nudged him out the way as the little one cried out at being uncovered. She exposed her swollen breasts and drew the baby up and attempted to get the little one to feed. He sucked clumsily at her breast, the colostrum flowed freely and Ahu laughed as it went everywhere but in his mouth. Eventually the baby settled down and sucked quietly as Ahu rocked back and forth. She looked up at Ahuahu and said “He is all our love put together. But now you must go now and talk with the other men. My cousins will provide food tonight to celebrate his birth.”
“But we haven’t chosen a name for him yet, said Ahuahu.”
“I have a name for him” said Ahu simply. “I would like Tangaroa for I must make peace with the sea.”
Ahuahu could not believe she would be so bold as to put forward the name of the god of the sea for their son. It was a good name for a boy. He loved it and often spoke to Tangaroa when he was fishing. Praying that he be guided through the rocky places, to be given a good catch of fish, and that he would return safe to Ahu.
“We will talk more when I return,” he said as though he would have to think about it. But secretly he was glad that she had made the decision. He bent down to Ahu and tried to look non committal as he touched her face but he could see her eyes laughing at him.
“Ahu, you know me so well you look right inside me.”
“Ahuahu, we are one person now. We know one another.”
With that he rose up and left the hut, his heart bursting with pride.
Later that day after boasting to the men of the village of how clever he was to have a son, Ahuahu came home to find the hut full with Ahu’s relatives. Her cousins and aunts had brought food and gifts of cloth and carved wooden bowls. They all sat down, ate and talked about the baby. Ahu acted very shy and reserved, reluctantly giving the baby up for others to hold. She looked tired and ate only a little.
Kakahu who now was holding the baby looked up at Ahuahu and asked, “what name will you give your son, Ahuahu.”
Ahuahu looked up from his food and looked directly back at Kakahu said “I have decided that he should be named Tangaroa.”
The women all aware of Ahu’s fear of the sea turned to her for her reaction. She bowed her head slightly and said, “If it pleases you my husband.”
Later that night with the baby asleep beside them, Ahuahu held Ahu gently, nuzzling into her neck and ears. He then whispered to her, “This afternoon you said we knew each other. That is not right. It should be, Only we, know each other.”


  1. Beautiful! I love the tenderness between them.
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  2. You are persisting with a standard of tender romanticism that leaves me envious. I can't do what you appear to find so easy. This is a lovely story.

  3. They have their own little god to keep them safe and connected only fear is that the tighter they become netted together..the more terrible a separation may be..but it your safe hands let's hope love will prevail..Jae

  4. Wow! Passionate and delicate at the same time. Nicely done!

  5. What a sweet tale you are weaving! I can hardly wait for another installment.

  6. What a lovely continuation of the story. Of course it would be the man who should announce the name; and yet, the mother picks the name she know will give her peace with the sea. Touching. Amy

  7. That last line is utterly precious. So loving.
    And I changed my last line, crediting you of course. You are good!

  8. Yes, only they know each other. You made me smile with this one.

    Thanks for linking back to it in The Serialists, as I missed it before.