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The Autobiography of a Maori

Ngati-Porou Wags

Ngati-Porou Wags

A number of men had put out to do some fishing at East Cape. Their luck was in and they filled a bag with snapper. On their return, when nearing the channel, somebody suggested that as the boat had been leaking, the water should be bailed out. He was over-ruled, another contending that there would be time enough to let the water out when they got ashore. However, a small sea came up and one wave lifted the stern of the boat and sent the water rushing to the bow. The boat dived and was swamped. Fortunately, the rocks were quite close and some of the men swam to them. Raihania, who was lame, could not swim very well and cried out for help. Two of the men standing on the rocks took no notice of his appeal, but philosophically discussed the serious question as to who should marry his fine-looking wife after he was gone. They even tossed up to settle the matter. It was another man who pulled Raihania out of the water. The boat was later dragged ashore but the bag of snapper was lost. Raihania soon recovered and forgot his trouble. He thought he would steal a march on his mates by dragging for the lost bag of snapper. His method was to throw out a fishing-line with hooks and sinker over the submerged bag of fish and then to pull in the line. On his second throw, one of the hooks caught in his hand and he could not get it out. He cut the line and rode to Te Araroa where the doctor extricated the hook. Raihania's troubles came in battalions. Both he and his wife, however, have now gone to their long rest.