Sunday, February 3, 2013

Hoku and Aotea at the beach (No. 83)

The continuing story of Ahu and Ahuahu and her family 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.)



Hoku had been at Black Sands for more than two months now and she had settled in very well. So Aotea suggested that he and Hoku be permitted to walk together on the beach that evening. He knew that Ahu would say they should go with one of his sisters. He hoped it would be his older sister Hekehoru who would be chosen as she was already visiting Tui unaccompanied and it looked as though they might be promised to each other. Tui was Paikea’s younger brother and wanted to marry Hekehoru but Ahu and Ahuahu were not sure.

Paikea had married Moana and he was neither a good husband nor wise in his judgement so they were worried Tui may also be the same. Ahu could see that Hekehoru was getting frustrated by the delay and there was likelihood that they would make love like many young couples did before they were married. But as they were both children of headmen they were being tested to show their responsibility.

In the end it was decided that Aotea and Hoku had to take the younger siblings Houhia and Rauora with them. Houhia was Ahu’s youngest child and she was very much like her mother, quiet and noticed everything that happened around her. Like Ahu she already knew which plants were useful in providing immunity and to cure ills as well as adding to food for cooking. Rauora was Hatiti’s boy and he was bold and adventurous; already he could swim well and loved going fishing with his Father and his elder half brother Tangaroa. Aotea knew they would both notice everything that he and Hoku did and said and sadly for them they would be the best of chaperones.

On the beach that evening the four of them met Moana and Hunapo who were now married and were playing on the beach in cool of the evening with their children Ikawhenua and Hinemoana.

“Hoku, this is Moana. She used to live with us after Rocky Outcrop destroyed the village at Gannet Island where she lived. She escaped and lived with us until she married.”

Moana greeted Hoku by rubbing noses with her and saying “Hoku, if women were chiefs, there would be less fighting, don’t you think?”

Hoku was taken aback. She had never heard a woman speak so boldly about mens business. She coloured up and whispered “Women follow the men, are you not worried your husband will hear you?”

Moana laughed “I was accepted here in this village because I did speak up. You must never be ashamed of being a woman. We are as important as men, not only do we bring children into the world we can also give wise counsel to our husbands.”

Hoku glanced over to Hunapo who was playing with Ikawhenua and Houhia while Rauora was looking on with Hinemoana. “Are you not scared he might hear you?”

“Hoku, you must find a husband that loves values and respects you. I have learned many lessons in life living here in Black Sands nearly all of them come from Ahu and Ahuahu. You must be strong and love fiercely.”

With that Aotea whispered, “Moana, Hoku and I would like to walk on the beach alone.”

“You mean without Houhia and Rauora? Well do not go out of sight and I will try to keep them here.” She smiled in reply.

So Aotea beckoned to Hoku and walked down to the sea with Hoku following a short distance behind. Occasionally Hoku would stoop down and examine the sand and glancing back could see that Moana and the others were still playing together.

When they started paddling in the water Aotea took Hoku’s hand once again and talked about the sea and the fish they caught pointing up and down the coast then he said to her. “Hoku, you are beautiful. I love the way you walk, and the way you look at me. When I touch your hands I seem to enter another more beautiful world. Are we true friends now?”

“I have never had any one touch and speak to me like this before, Aotea. You are right we have both entered a completely different world.”

Aotea glanced back up the beach. Rauora was looking down towards them so Aotea waved to him. Rauora waved back and returned to his play. So Aotea said, “Let us sit here so that they can see us.” As they faced out to sea Aotea was close to Hoku so he touched her foot with one of his. “I want to touch more of you Hoku.”

Hoku said nothing but let her foot touch his too. She relaxed as his fingers touched her then he laid his head on her tummy looking up at her. She looked back at him “Where else do you want to touch me, Aotea?”

“I want touch your hair and put my face close to yours and I want listen to your heart beat Hoku and to feel the softness of your body...everywhere.”

Hoku’s heart skipped a beat and she wanted him to do all that but instead she laughed then jumped up and ran back to Moana and the others calling out “You must catch me first Aotea.”

Aotea just caught up with her before they rejoined the others but he couldn’t touch her again because they were so close to the others but they both were laughing.

Moana looked at them. They were both red faced with exertion. No, it wasn’t that she thought. They have started to love each other.

When they got back the village, Ahuahu was there to meet them. “Hoku, your father has sent you a message. He says that it is safe now for you to return home.”

Hoku, burst into tears, and ran into the whare.

7 comments:

  1. interesting and gentle story. hi from mount barker and dverse =)

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  2. This whole series is so convincing in its gentle sincerity, and detail, that, did I not know better, I should start to suspect your ancestry. Good episode, as always!

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  3. enjoyed this episode..always wonder what will happen next.

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  4. Yes..always good to be proud to be a woman..not sure about less fighting..just a different kind of fighting perhaps!

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  5. I love how real and rounded your characaters are, Old Egg. You ascribe to them thoughts and feelings that we can share in. This episode made me smile at it's sweetness, until the very end when things took a sudden disturbing turn for Hoku. I'm trusting you will work it out! :-) Great write!

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  6. In a gentle time before men and machines... my own stories are varied in time, an are also full of unresolved emotions.

    I can only mirror what others have said and try at more quiet times to come back and read what was written before.

    Thank you for your visit to my Wordle. Sometimes endings aren't written for the characters...but for the people and the many directions that they come from.

    Jules

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  7. This episode really brings home to me how extensive their family has become. Between the births and fostering and other connections Ahu and Ahuahu have given rise to a whole tribe.

    Sorry the hub for The Serialists was late posting today. I was sure I had it posted last night and didn't check until after I wrote Suzie's House.

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