The Fish of Maui Adapted by Louise Judd from a book by Peter Gossage
Maui had magical powers and was much better at everything than his four foster-brothers Roto, Mua, Pae and Taha.
They had planned to go fishing the next day but had not told Maui, as they were jealous and did not want him to come.
Early next morning, Maui hid himself in the bottom of his brothers’ canoe. His brothers laughed as they set off, little knowing that Maui Nukurau (the trickster) was going with them.
They paddled out beyond the breakers until they found a good place to fish, but it was not good enough for Maui Atamai (the quick-witted). He sprang from his hiding place in the bottom of the canoe!
The brothers, still shocked by Maui’s magical appearance, obeyed his order to paddle on. On and on they paddled. They begged Maui to stop, but he would not.
All night Maui paddled by the light of Marama, the moon, while his brothers slept, exhausted.
The next morning, when the sun rose, Maui said “Stop”. He took the magic jawbone of his ancestor and threw it out over the ocean as far as he could throw it. Then he started to pull.
Maui ran across the new land to get back his fish hook. He told his brothers to leave the fish alone so it would stay nice and flat. As soon as he had gone, the brothers took their taiaha and began to chop at the body. The huge fish began to struggle.
When Maui came back, the fish was now a jagged mass of valleys and mountains.
Te Ika a Maui means The Fish of Maui. It is the North Island of New Zealand and it looks a little like a stingray. Have you ever seen a stingray? Have you ever visited the North Island?