Saturday, December 3, 2011

Ahu and Hoata visit Hatiti (No 29)



Ahuahu reported back to the village council of the demise of the pakeha intruders through the efforts of the fishing village at the big river estuary. The news of their being killed and eaten was seen as a worrying aspect likely to result in repercussions. One of the members remarked that they should have little to do with that village if they have acquired some of the pakehas traits in their actions, as no good could be seen in pakehas at all. The chief retorted “We did not choose Ahuahu for this council because of his fishing ability but in judgement and usefulness. The reason we should have nothing to do with that village because they are not to be trusted.” All nodded their agreement.
Village life soon returned to normal after the excitement of the foreigners visit had been forgotten. Hoata’s step daughter Hatiti had her first baby and both Ahu and Hoata went to visit her.
Hatiti was very pleased to see them but instead of handing her baby first to her stepmother Hoata she handed her to Ahu. Hoata said nothing and Ahu who after admiring the little one handed her on promptly to Hoata.
“Babies are such a joy,’” said Ahu “It is about time I had another one. Let us hope Hinewai has one too.” There was silence at that statement as Hoata and Hatiti glanced at each other. Hoata then got up and said she would see to the other children who were playing outside. “It sounds as though the boys are teasing Hekehoru.”
Hatiti now left alone with Ahu, patted the floor next to her for them to sit close together.
“Ahu, you are so wise and loving; you are a true sister to me. I never thought I would love Kaihutu so much, certainly not as much as you love Ahuahu. I know I made you jealous as I was searching around for love and Ahuahu appeared to be everything I wanted and I would have been willing to share him with you. But now I am so happy and as you said I would be; I do not even see his broken nose now, he is part of me.”
At this point Ahu reached out and touched Hatiti face as though she was her sister. Hatiti leaned her face into Ahu’s palm as they spoke and she hummed in satisfaction.
“Hatiti you are my sister. I am proud that you have become a mother and have given Kaihutu his first child. I can see that you truly love him.”
At this point Hoata came back into the house.
“Ahu, it wasn’t the boys teasing Hekehoru it was her teasing them.” At this all the women burst out laughing.
Later that evening at home Ahu and Ahuahu had got the children asleep and were talking quietly.
“It is time we made another baby Ahuahu.”
“We say that almost every night Ahu.”
“Then we shall have to try something different tonight,” she responded with a little grin lowering her eyes.


7 comments:

  1. You have the ability to describe sweetness and joy without being too sentimental and cloying. This is a gift I envy. Let's hope the foreigners keep away from this village.

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  2. Absolutely, I agree with Altonian..I wonder if babies are all about joy though..Jae

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  3. they all have such loving and sweet relationships. It warms the heart :)

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  4. Noting what jaerose said; sadly children were not all about joy. Infant mortality was extremely high not only in Maori communities but also in so called civilised western countries in Europe at the time of the writing. Death was a constant companion. Ahu and Ahuahu stand out because they were unwanted children on the edge of a hierarchical society. Now they have become valued members in another village community. Let's hope their gods continue to smile on them.

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  5. Well, they are in your capable hands, so they'll live under the smile if you will it. And I understand about the infant mortality during those years...so many of the biographies I read just record one child death after another. We don't appreciate antibiotics like we should. I know this is random chatter, but I'm up early with a headache and oh well.

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  6. Babies bring joy and sleepless nights. This is a sweet story and I always enjoy reading it.

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  7. Something different? :) Do we get to see? :D

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