"The Whale Rider" By Witi Ihimaera.

4737 words - 19 pages

The Whale Rider - Witi IhimaeraIn the old days, the land and sea with its forests and animals felt a great emptiness, a yearning. They were waiting for the seeding, for the gifting, for the blessing to come.Suddenly, one day the first of the Ancients were coming in their canoes from their island kingdom beyond the horizon - Hawaiki. After a while, they returned to the east. The land and sea were relieved - they had been found. They still had to wait for a long time until the news was taken back to the place of the Ancients. Then, one day, the first sighting was made: something was coming through the water and suddenly, the sea was filled with awesome singing and the song said: You have called and I have come, bearing the gift of the Gods. One flying saw the singer - it was a whale. Everybody quickly realized that the time of the blessing had come, because the sacred sign was on the whale, a swirling moko pattern imprinted on the forehead. Then, the flying fish saw something on the back of the whale. It was a man - the whale rider. The whale rose higher out of the sea and the man felt its power. He began to fling small spears of mauri seaward and landward. Some mauri turned into pigeons, others into eels. Then, land and sea opened themselves to the gift they had been waiting for for so long: tangata, man. With great thanksgiving, the man cried out to the land:Karanga mai, karanga mai, karanga mai.But there was one mauri which refused to leave the whale rider's hands. So the whale rider said: Let this mauri be the one to flower when the people are troubled and it is most needed. Then, the mauri left the whale rider's hand and flew for one thousand years. When it hit the earth, it did not change but waited for another 150 years to pass until it was needed.We are at the Valdes Peninsula at Patagonia. Four months ago, the giant whales have migrated from their Antarctic feeding range to mate, calve and rear their young. Their leader, the ancient bull whale, and the elderly female whales flute magnificent whalesongs while they are waiting for the newly born to be strong enough for the long voyages ahead. The ancient whale thinks of his own youth. He lost his mother when he was three months old. When he was crying over her, he suddenly heard a human playing a flute. The song sounded like the whalesong of comfort, so the whale approached the human who cradled him. The whale stayed with the human who became his master. He dearly loved his master and the sound of the flute.Today, when he thinks of his adolescence, he sings nostalgic songs and in the echoing water he hears his master's flute. The elderly females are frightened by this because to them that song means that their leader is turning his thoughts to the dangerous islands to the south-west.When Kahu was born, her great-grandfather Koro Apirana was disappointed because he had wanted his first great-grandchild to be a boy. The rest of the family, Kahu's great-grandmother Nanny Flowers and her uncles...

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