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.)
While Horowai was away staying with Hinewai,
Tangaroa had found that without her by his side all the time he was lost. When
he went fishing and returned back to shore he felt bad that she was not there
to welcome him back and to carry the fish back to the village and to prepare
what they would not eat for drying on the racks. However instead of moping on
shore he tended to travel further in his canoe and would be happy to follow the
coast north towards Gannet
Island where he
was born. Sometimes he would land at a deserted cove and lie on the sand in the
shade and wonder what his married life would be like when they were on their ownto heal his loss at being parted from her.
He had been several times to see their whare at
the hot springs
and got on well with Horowai’s grandparents who were always pleased to see him.
He was resting one day on the shore close where the whale was beached many
years ago when he heard a shout. He looked up and saw that another canoe was
making its way to shore but had got into difficulties and was is danger of being swept
onto the rocks.
He got up and ran to the waters edge and
pointed to the water that the two people in the boat should head for and slowly
they manoeuvred their canoe in that direction while Tangaroa waded in the water
then swam up their boat and helped them to shore.
It was then with shock he realised that it
was Haeata and her father in the boat but they had not recognised him until he
came up alongside and paddled their canoe away from the rocks.
“Tangaroa” shouted Haeata with a grin all
over her face. Her father just nodded; as he continued make his way toward
“It is good that I am here otherwise you may
have had a long walk home,” Tangaroa said.
Her father grunted and Tangaroa continued “Do
you live further up at Gannet
Island or as far as Rocky
With that Haeata jumped out the boat, much to
her father’s annoyance as it rocked so much and waded across to Tangaroa and
leaned forward and rubbed noses with him. She was very pleased.
“Good you have come to rescue me,” She whispered
as her father paddled the canoe to shore. She hesitated, bit her lip then dared
to hold Tangaroa’s hand as they waded to shore.
Tangaroa let her hold him as he thought that
she was just unsteady in the water but when they got to shore she still did not release him. He looked her and she was smiling at him.
“I am not letting you go this time Tangaroa.”
He shook his head finally releasing her hand.
“I have some water here. Do you want some?” She nodded, so Tangaroa waved to
her father and indicated drinking and beckoned him over to the area where he
had put his things.
“I want you Tangaroa otherwise they will
marry me off to an older man.” She said.
“Haeata, I get married in five days time. I
cannot marry you.”
Her face fell, “I remember you saying you were
to marry but I did not believe you. Did you not know I liked you?”
“When I saw you, you had just escaped from Big River
and your future husband had died fighting the pakeha. You did not truly want me
then.” He paused and then said “You are beautiful Haeata and strong, many men
will want you. Tell your parents you want a younger man.”
“You do not understand. We are allowed to
live at Gannet Island on condition that I marry a
widower who wanted a wife to look after him.”
“And your parents agreed to that?”
Haeata nodded sadly. “He is no longer in
mourning now and I will have to marry him soon.”
With that her father arrived and Tangaroa
welcomed him and gave him the skin of water to drink.
“You are living at Gannet Island
then, do you fish with the men from Rocky Outcrop?”
Her father nodded. “We live there now. Haeata
will marry soon; we will be truly accepted then.”
“I was born there,” said Tangaroa “Some time
ago I went with my father up to Rocky Outcrop to talk with their chief, but we
did not see you then.”
“They did not want us, so I told them
that Haeata was ready to marry so they agreed we could stay if they could
choose a husband for her.” With that he sat down then continued. “The coast is rocky just here
so the fishing is difficult; but when Haeata marries I will be able fish around Gannet Island,” her father said.
“There is much to catch at Gannet Island
but be careful of the swell at the back of the island; my mother’s parents were
drowned there when she was a child.”
Her father nodded and thanked him, “Haeata, I
will get the boat ready. Say goodbye we are leaving.” He then strode off back
to the beach.
“Do not forget me, Tangaroa. I would
willingly be your second wife.” With that she touched him on the arm then placed her hand on his face. “She is very lucky”. She then turned and ran down to join her
father at the shore.
“Horowai, I need you badly”, Tangaroa
whispered to himself as he too readied himself to return to Black Sands and watched her legs as she clambered into the canoe.
Note: I have also posted this episode to Two Shoes Tuesday as the the prompt there this week is 'Choice' and Tangaroa in this episode is given a final choice just a few days before his wedding to Horowai.