Saturday, 31 August 2013
Mahuika's Tales No. 2. Rona and the Moon
The full moon
One day in the winter evening was drawing in and Mahuika had gone around to Hoku and Aotea’s whare to share a meal. Their two children Aotaki and Ahuru were there as well as some other children from the village and they were all playing on the floor inside in the warm.
When the children saw her arrive they all rushed up to welcome her and pleaded with her to tell them a story. She nodded and then said before I start shall we have a look outside and see what is there in the sky. So they all rushed out on to the porch and started looking around. “No, no children it is higher up. Look up there.” So the children all looked up and saw the darkening sky and the stars coming out and then one boy shouted “Look at the full moon there just above the treetops.” The great round shape of the moon could then be seen.
“Yes, look at the moon children, then let us go back inside and I will tell you a story.”
So the children watched the moon for a little while and then Mahuika ushered them back inside sat them down and started her story.
Many, many years ago Rona lived with her husband in their hut in a small village that was next to a gentle river.
One night her husband was thirsty and he said "Rona I want a drink of water". Rona was warm and comfortable in her bed but her husband insisted so she got up to get him water from the taha (gourd) that was hanging up outside. Unfortunately the taha was empty and Rona did not want to walk to the river to get more water. But her husband said he was very thirsty and so Rona stormed out of the hut angry that she had to walk over to the river in the dark.
She filled her taha at the river and as she was coming back home the moon disappeared behind a cloud and in the darkness Rona stubbed her toe on a big rock. She cursed the moon for hiding its light from her and causing her to hurt her toe. The moon heard her cursing and he was angry with her. "Rona, it is not my fault that you are out walking in the night time" he said.
But Rona was angry too as she was in pain and she cursed the moon again for making her trip. So the moon became very angry indeed, so much so that he decided to punish Rona by capturing her and bringing her up to him in the sky. Rona felt the moon pulling her and she held tightly to her taha full of water and then to a tree, fighting to stay down on earth. But the moon was too strong and he pulled Rona up even though she still held on to the tree which was then ripped up by its roots and so he brought Rona, her taha and the tree up to the moon with him. And she remains there until this day clutching her taha filled with water and her tree.
Mahuika then said “Let’s go outside again to see if we can see Rona.” So she took the children outside again and pointed to the silvery moon and said to the children “Can you see the shape of the tree on the moon and isn’t that Rona hanging on to it still?”
The children all looked up at the moon and pointed to where they thought where the tree was with Rona still holding tight saying, “Yes, there she is.”
But one little girl shook her head and said “My husband will have to get his own water. I do not want to go to the moon.” At this everyone laughed as they went back inside.