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.)
After Ahu had heard the rest of Torangi's story about Hinewai they returned to his house where Hauku and her daughter Moana were talking. After some discussion they decided to accept the invitation to stay the night with them so that Moana could have some time with her young brothers before they returned to Black Sands.
Hauku was not told by Ahu that she knew Torangi and so their evening was spent talking a lot about Gannet Island and the past. Although Ahu nodded and remembered people from those far off days she also remembered the hurt of being the unwanted niece that her aunts had to care for. Her joy now was all with Ahuahu and her children at Black Sands.
Moana was happy that she had her mother’s approval to live with Ahu and knew too that her mother would be pleased if one day she might make a marriage with the head man’s son. Even though Ahu explained that there would be many parents who would want their daughters married to him too.
That night Ahu slept with a protecting arm around Moana and early the following morning they set off for home.
Much of the journey was spent with Ahu explaining how Moana should act discreetly and show off her skills and be of service to all in the village. If she met Torangi the chiefs son she should not look him directly in the eye and always address his father and mother with respect and show her discretion when she spoke to them and anyone else in the village. Now that she was a woman she could play with and look after younger children but with those of her own age and older she should not run with or laugh at or touch them openly except with respect.
Moana listened carefully to all this and said “Is there no other way, Ahu?”
“Yes, of course there is, you can run and laugh and play and tickle boys your own age but you will never marry the chief’s son.” was Ahu’s answer.
Moana sighed. “He seems so far away from the time I met him with Ahuahu.”
“Remember Moana, if he looks at you, do not smile at him, but lower your eyes, and if he smiles look affronted as though he had watched you washing yourself.”
“But I think I would like that, Ahu.”
“Then you better run off with that boy who has been following behind us for some time. Have you not noticed him?”
Moana turned around quickly and saw a shadow of a youth disappear into the bushes. Then she huffed with frustration “Usually I can tell if there is anyone around, why did you not tell me earlier?”
“There must be a village near here. Can you not smell the smoke of their fires? Your mind is too much on Paikea. Be patient and calm down, it is affecting your judgement.”
They walked on steadily for some time then at last Moana broke the silence.
“How can I make him want me unless he sees I want him?”
“Trust me Moana, from what Ahuahu said he already wants you. You do not have to win him over but his parents. They must see you as a worthy member of their family.”
They spent all day walking down from the hills and it was dusk by the time they reached Black Sands.
Everyone was overjoyed to have them back home again.
“We are very tired” said Ahu. “We both need to bathe after that long walk,” as everyone hugged and rubbed noses with each other.
“Perhaps we should wash in Hoata’s house where it is less crowded” said Moana.
”That is a good idea Moana,” responded Ahu.
“You have taught her a lot already, Ahu.” laughed Hatiti.