Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Mahuika's Tales No 14. Hina and Marama

The next time the children came to Mahuika to hear a story she started by telling them that this time it was a story about the moon. Once again Hekeheke had picked up the smallest child and sat with her on her lap. Mahuika immediately thought again that the teenager needed to find a boyfriend. The little girl that Hekeheke cuddled sat contentedly with her and the Mahuika thought she may have to talk to Hekeheke’s mother discreetly. So then she began her story:


Once there was a blind woman who had four daughters, the youngest of whom was named Hina. Hina loved walking at night and would be the first to rise when one of her family said “We are out of water”. She would take the calabash and wander into the night and relish the world of darkness with the owls hooting and the creatures scuttling underfoot the whisper of the ferns and the silvery light of the moon bathing the world in a loving embrace as she refilled the water container.

All the daughters had boyfriends and often when Hina went walking in the dark she would meet her own friend by accident and they whispered and fondled each other in secret.

However they were seen by Marama the bright moon  shining high in the night sky overhead or perhaps watching half hidden by the trees if he was rising or setting in the sky. Marama he thought Hina was so beautiful that he wanted her for himself.

One night as Hina waited for some excuse to wander off into the night to meet her lover, he was in fact was busy fishing as the tide was high and the fish were biting. She listened to hear any movement close to their hut but none came so she decided to go anyway and try to find him. She casually picked up her calabash and wandered off into the night.

Marama the moon was just rising and saw straight away that Hina had left her home and made sure that as she walked there was always enough light for her to walk safely and not stumble. He knew too that her boyfriend was fishing as he had seen him at sea and thought perhaps he would speak to her himself. Marama then took human form and came down to earth and walked along to the stream where she fetched water. When she saw Marama her mouth dropped open as she stared at his beauty. He walked up to her and said “Hina, you are so beautiful, let me help you fill you calabash and then we can talk together.”

Hina shook her head doubtfully “But I have a boyfriend already and he will come for me soon.”

Marama laughed and said “He is not coming, he is fishing as the tide is full and my light attracts the fish, come with me as I want you with me.

Hina looked at Marama, “You are beautiful too and are as stunning as the moon that I love. How is it I have never seen you before?”

Marama laughed again and boldly said “Oh Hina, come with me, I am the moon, live with me and let us delight the people of the earth with our loving light when the sun has fled. Stay with me always, those you leave behind will grow old and die but you will be with me forever.”

Then Hina said “I do want you but I should not leave” so she held on to a tree trunk as he clasped her around the waist and leap into the sky to return to the moon. She never let go of the tree but such was his strength that it too was pulled out of the earth as he took her back to the Moon

Hina couldn’t believe that it really was the moon that had come for her and as he flew up with her she reached up to touch his shining face then she knew she just had to be with him. So she nodded to him and then returned to the moon with him shining so brightly in the sky that night.

Just at that time her lover returned from fishing and searched for her by the stream. He couldn’t find her but was still wandering about as the dawn finally broke and the moon disappeared from view still thinking that she was calling out to him. Which she was as she looked back down at the earth.

So Hina settled down with Marama and was a good and loving wife to him but after a some time she said “I miss my family, Marama”.  As he looked with love at her. “And do you miss your old lover too?” he asked.

She blushed and nodded. He shook his head sadly. “Time is different for us we are in no hurry but for those on Earth it rushes by. If you see him he will have aged. Do you still want to see him?”

She nodded. So Marama went to fetch her former lover and brought him back. He was an old man, his hair was white and his face was wrinkled with age. He smiled at Hina with remembrance and love and she nursed him as he grew weaker. Eventually Marama said to her, “Hina I must return him to the Earth so that he can lie down with his ancestors.”

So Hina rubbed noses with her old lover for the last time and Marama returned him to Earth and Hina never thought of going back down to the Earth ever again.


When Mahuika had finished the story, she looked over to Hekeheke who was still holding the little one. Hekeheke was crying openly and the little girl in her arms was reaching up to wipe away the tears.

Later, when the children had gone, Mahuika and Hekeheke talked.

Hekeheke said “Isn’t it strange that two stories about the moon taking women from the earth are so similar but so different. This one you just told us was all about love but the one about Rona is quite different as she was being punished.”

Mahuika nodded. “They probably started off as one story but pexpect one woman storyteller decided to put a gentler touch into the Hina story." She paused then said, "I am going to Black Sands again soon. Will you come with me this time?”

Hekeheke looked into Mahuika’s eyes to see if she could read her thoughts but in doing so she realized that she herself was showing the older woman what she thought about her desire to find a boyfriend. So they both laughed and Hekeheke nodded eagerly.


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