Sunday, February 10, 2013

Hoku returns to Rocky Outcrop (No. 84)



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.)



Hoku didn’t want to return to Rocky Outcrop and her family because she had fallen in love. Ahu wanted to talk to her so she went into the room where the girls slept, shooed out the younger ones who were there and asked Hoku if she could talk to her. Hoku nodded sadly.

As they sat together, Ahu fussed with Hoku’s hair and Hoku cried as Ahu talked gently to her. “Hoku, you must feel glad that it is safe to go back to Rocky Outcrop and your family are well. This is good news.”

Hoku’s sad eyes looked up at Ahu and she whispered “You do not understand. I want to stay here. Everything here is beautiful. You treat me as though I was your precious daughter but give me freedom I have never had before.” 

“I do understand, Hoku. You do fit in well. You play with the young ones, walk around the village as though you belong here, make friends with our family as well as talk to the women in the village and…” here Ahu paused “We are happy that you look at Aotea and he at you.”

Tears came to Hoku’s eyes again. “Ahu, he ignored me when I first came and that made me cross but in the end I realised that he did the right thing and now I want to stay for him.” She paused then said, “Should I have said that to you?”

“You have learned much, Hoku. That you can speak to me in this way shows you are happy here and we are with you. However, you now have a difficult task now of telling your father. He was wise to speak of this when you were in danger as you can now see the wisdom of his words.” Hoku looked at Ahu puzzled as Ahu continued. “If the danger is past your father may forget the idea that you would be safe here and start making other plans.”

Hoku looked at Ahu in horror, “You mean he may change his mind and give me to someone else in a pact with another village?”

“I did not say that, but it was the first thought that came in your mind, wasn’t it? When you return why not tell him that as the country between Black Sands and Rocky Outcrop is not wanted by the pakeha it should be made a safe haven for both our villages for all time.”

“You mean that a marriage pact between our villages would strengthen us both and the village should be rebuilt?”

Ahu nodded “If your father approves of the marriage perhaps with help the two of you rebuild the village at Gannet Island and settle there.”

“But I like it here, Ahu.”

“No, you will like it wherever Aotea is, Hoku. I know that you love him your eyes are illuminated when you are with him. Be strong and show your father that you are more than a woman.”

“Moana was right, Ahu, I can learn much from you.”

When Ahuahu returned Hoku to Rocky Outcrop he took Aotea and his sister Hekehoru with him to accompany Hoku.

Hekehoru had not spoken a lot to Hoku and the journey together allowed them to get to know each other better. It was then that Hoku learned of Moana’s first marriage to the now dead Paikea and of the problems Hekehoru had in persuading Ahuahu to let her marry Tui, Paikea’s brother.

As they passed through the old Gannet Island village they saw a few fishermen on the shore and this time Hoku took note of the surrounds and asked Ahuahu about the fresh water supply and if the Fern Gully settlement was still there.

“Have you been talking to Ahu?” asked Ahuahu with a smile. Hoku nodded as he went on “There are always a few families that exist by themselves in this country. They trouble no one yet they do not prosper for when times are difficult no one knows and they receive no help. I am surprised those that remain did not come and take over the village here where the beach is much closer but they could have been scared of the fishermen from Rocky Outcrop. They are people to be reckoned with,” he joked. 

“I was scared of them until I met, Hoku,” laughed Aotea. With that Hoku then playfully slapped at Aotea.

They reached Rocky Outcrop in the late afternoon and went up to the chief’s house. They were welcomed in by chief Ruaimoko, Hoku’s father, who formally rubbed noses with everyone but touched the face of Hoku as well.

“Good, good, we will talk after our meal.” So the families ate together and there was much talk and Hoku was asked to tell her family about the Black Sands village. Later Ahuahu and Aotea spoke alone with Ruaimoko.

“I have learned from my men that they did not see your people fish at Gannet Island, Ahuahu.”

“No, I thought we had better earn that privilege before we used it.”

Ruaimoko grunted, “The trouble with you Ahuahu, you build up credit unawares. Hoku is back safely and I notice that she is not too happy about it meaning you made her welcome, yet you have received nothing from me.”

“You have always said that I was a plain speaker,” Ahuahu replied. “Yes, Hoku was happy with us, she enjoyed our way of life but not the smell of the Hot Springs” Ahuahu laughed as he said that. “For us little changes, but we now have a pakeha priest looking after the ngerengere people and all is quiet with the pakeha. We do not complain. But you have not told us of the conflict you expected here.”

Ruaimoko did not answer at first but changed the subject and spoke to Aotea. “You have not said much, Aotea, either now or at the meal. What do you think of this country of your mother’s family?”

Aotea then spoke for the first time. “I have been told it is better to listen today and speak tomorrow. But surely it is better for a person to be known for what they do than where they come from.”

This brought a smile to Ruaimoko’s face, “Ahuahu you have a wise son.” He then continued “Here as in every village there is always someone that knows everything. Did you know that Ahu’s mother came from here?”

“Yes,” Ahuahu replied. “Ahu told us and it is no secret, all the children know of this. It is their story now...and Aotea is also correct in what he said.”

“Ahuahu, there is no conflict here now or for a long time. Any threat there may have been has gone except that is, from the pakeha.”

“Ruaimoko, you have put us all through a trial then.” Ahuahu said. “Hoku must be very precious for you to test us all in this way. What would you have done if she had hated it at Black Sands or was harmed in any way?”

“And did Hoku know of this?” butted in Aotea crossly.

“Your eyes betray you, son,” smiled the chief, “Calm down, she is innocent and her eyes betrayed her too when she returned. You are clearly the right husband for her.”

Ahuahu started laughing. “You went to a lot of effort to achieve something that was inevitable.” At this Ruaimoko laughed too and slapped Aotea on the shoulders and hugged him. “Welcome to my family Aotea, we will tell Hoku in the morning.”

All Aotea could only think of was of all the trouble he had taken to win Hoku’s affection weeks ago yet her father had planned it all along. It was him who had wanted her to marry into Ahuahu’s family all along.


5 comments:

  1. when will children learn that "father knows best"

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  2. Sometimes 'Father knows best' - I enjoyed that there was a happy ending here. Well even though there is much more to say...

    I once had a blind date that my father had set me up on...and thankfully it was the one and only date with 'that' person.

    Thanks again for your visits to my Wordles.

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  3. The wily old men had it all 'sussed' out for the kids. Nice one!
    What's with the blank video bits? I keep trying to see what they are, and nothing happens.

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  4. This is a great episode. Sometimes when fathers call the shots, it's a mess, but this worked ut perfectly.

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  5. I hope that doesn't put the kibosh on their romance. Young people can be so stubborn that way.

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