A story of Ahu and Ahuahu and their family in a Maori village in Aotearoa during European settlement of New
Zealand. (Click on Ahu in
the labels bar for previous posts)
Rauora was Hatiti’s second child and Ahuahu
was his father. He was the same age Houhia. As he grew up he often went fishing
with his grandfather Kamaka and his uncle Paikea who was the same age as
Tangaroa. Hoata, Hatiti’s mother loved her big extended family as all Maori
mothers did. It was a secure feeling
that there were many family members to look after her as she got older. Paikea
often took Rauora with him fishing and sometimes Kamaka went with them too.
After Haeata started going out with Tui,
Rauora was jealous. Haeata had stayed with Ahu and Ahuahu when she came down
from Gannet Island and he was fascinated by this
young widow that at first looked sad but soon brightened up and became happy
again when she found how welcome she was and that Paikea, Kamaka and Hoata’s
son was happy to take her fishing and to talk to her.
She noticed that Rauora looked at her a lot,
smiled at her and accidentally brushed against her if they passed. She smiled
too as she had never been shown so much attention before. Later when she agreed
to be Paikea’s wife, Rauora was devastated but could not show it but still tended
to spend more time than normal visiting Kamaka’s family. He lusted after Haeata
even though she was older than him.
One day after Paikea had taken Kamaka fishing
Rauora could see his grandmother Hoata going down to the kumara plot, so he
casually walked through the village and called outside Kamaka’s whare, “Paikea,
are you not fishing today?”
There was no answer from inside so he called
again, “Hoata are you there?”
“Is that you Rauora?” Haeata replied.
“Are you by yourself, Haeata? May I enter?”
There was a pause then Haeata called out “Come
on in Rauora, Hoata should be back soon.”
Rauora entered and sat by her side. Haeata
had the first bloom of pregnancy, her face was rounder, her belly was softly
rounded, and her clothes did not hide the shape of her breasts. She was already
preparing wrappings for the baby as she sorted out both tapa and some linen
cloth that was now available on her lap. Her feet faced toward him as she was
comfortable that way so she said, “Sit the other side of me, Rauora.”
“No, that is alright Haeata, I like looking
at your feet.”
Haeata coloured up, “You must not talk to me
this way. What would Paikea say?”
“You are beautiful Haeata; surely every woman
wants to be told that?”
“For years Rauora, I had no one to pay me
compliments. Now I have two men, Paikea and now you that do it, but I am
embarrassed. You must find a younger woman to praise and love. You know I am
with child…Paikea’s child.” Haeata held her face down so as not to look
directly at Rauora as she smoothed her round tummy.
“I wish it were mine, Haeata.”
Haeata shook her head still looking down at
the mat in front of her. “Please go, I do not mind you visiting of me, but
please do not say those words.” She paused and listened “It is starting to rain.
Go Rauora. Hoata will be back soon. She will not work in the wet.”
Rauora continued to look at Haeata who still had
her head bent forward with her hair covering her face.
“I will say goodbye then” Rauora said as he
approached her as if to rub noses with her but instead laid his cheek against
hers and breathed in the scent of her hair. ”You really are so beautiful,
Haeata.” With that he nibbled the lobes of her ears with his lips.
Haeata did not move but whispered, “Stop
Rauora I will have to tell Paikea. Listen Hoata is on the porch.”
So Rauora got up and went to out onto the
porch. “Kuia Hoata, I couldn’t believe it when Haeata said you were at the
Kumara patch in the rain. I must run home.”
She touched cheeks with him, “You feel hot
Rauora; are you alright?
Rauora nodded as she continued, “Why won’t
“No, all the talk here is about babies. That
is just for women.”
Hoata laughed as he ran off in the rain. Inside
the whare Haeata smiled a little smile. “It is so good to be loved again,” she
thought, “But not by two men.” And she touched the ear that he had kissed
hoping he would soon find a girl of his own.