The continuing story of Ahu and Ahuahu her husband in a Maori village in Aotearoa before European settlement of New Zealand. (Missed an episode? Click on Ahu in the labels bar for previous posts.)
Ahu was happy to be back home again and Ahuahu was so pleased that he would sleep with her again.
“Did Hatiti not sleep with you Ahuahu?”
“Yes, but it does not feel good when you are not here. Even though she was with me I was wondering where you were all the time and if you were safe. I can always hear you if you call out for me in the village but not when you are far away.”
Ahu wrapped him in her arms and whispered to him. “When you say words like that I know I have first place in your heart.” Then she was quiet for a little while as he caressed her, but in the end she spoke. “I have a secret Ahuahu it is one only we must share. Moana’s mother and her young brothers are living with a man at the Kaka village in the forest. “
“It is good that she has someone to protect her now that her husband has been killed.” said Ahuahu.
“Yes, but the man is Torangi of our village, he was living by himself as Hinewai has now left him. I cannot tell Hatiti or Hoata and it is not my place to speak to Kamaka about this. I do not like secrets and it is hurting me. I did not even tell Moana I knew him.”
“You are worrying unduly Ahu. Kamaka has already said to me that one day Torangi would wake up and find Hinewai gone. That has now happened but he must hear it from others not us. If ever Kamaka asks me if I have heard anything I will tell him that Torangi has been seen but Hinewai is not with him. That will merely confirm what he is expecting. Relax tonight then tell me what he said tomorrow night.”
But Ahu was still restless and spoke again.
“Can Moana really be so determined to marry Paikea, Ahuahu? She seems so young to give herself to a man.”
“I will take her fishing to take her mind off him. She must be seen to be a useful member of the village.”
“If she asks some of the questions she asked me you will want to throw her overboard.” Ahu laughed as she took her clothes off. “It is cold tonight, warm me up Ahuahu.”
The next day, Ahuahu was up early and woke Moana and asked her if she wanted to go fishing. Moana jumped at the chance and was soon dashing off to the beach to find some bait while Ahuahu fetched Kamaka to join them.
They fished all morning when the tide was full. Kamaka grunted a lot voicing his confusion in having a teenage girl in the boat. But he was enchanted when she began singing asking the gods to send fish for them to catch. They caught a few large snapper on the lines and when Kamaka bade her sing again they noticed that other boats were approaching them either to get some of their luck or just to see and hear Moana sing.
Later with all the other boats in a circle around them Ahuahu said, “We have caught enough Kamaka, we should return now.” One of the other fishermen called out, “Stay longer Ahuahu, we need some of your bait.”
Ahuahu shook his head laughing and called out, “This taniwha is ours alone you must befriend one of your own.” With that they paddled to shore with Moana looking back, her eyes lowered and smiling shyly at the disappointed faces.
As Moana gathered up the fish to take back to Hoata, Kamaka’s wife, the two men cleaned up the boat and stowed it in the dunes.
“How is it you have all the most beautiful women with you Ahuahu. You have even got my precious daughter and I thank the gods that you saved her.”
“You knew that I only ever wanted Ahu, Kamaka. And there must be many men jealous you have Hoata for your wife to comfort you. Ahu loves her dearly they have been good friends since we came here.”
“I have never told anyone this Ahuahu. I loved my first wife so much, the gods punished me for that and took her away. I took Hoata to be my wife so that my children would have a mother. I am glad I did so as she gave me a son, but she is not like…” Kamaka paused and then said, “I cannot even say her name anymore. It hurts so much.”
“Perhaps, she sent Hoata to you so you would not be lonely, Kamaka.”
“I had never thought that Ahuahu. Leave me now while I sit here awhile and reflect on this matter.”
Ahuahu paused reluctant to leave him, but Kamaka said as he stared out to sea, “Go, I will see you later. I just need to be alone.”
So Ahuahu walked back to the village by himself and as he did so murmured his thanks to the gods for his wives and his children and for friends and wondered whether Kamaka was thinking about his first wife or Hoata.