Summary: The Shark That Ate the Sun
John Puhiatau Pule
Old women of the village were making a fuss over me, and fed me with
timala softened in their mouths. Near the shed an oven was burning away,
men and boys busy with copra. Down on the coast, Mataginifale was wading
in the sea up to her thighs. She had berries in a cloth tied to her waist. A
shark called out from beyond the reef. ---I see you have the red berries on
you, the shark called out, can we share them? Mataginifale laughed back
and sang out. --- What, sharks don't eat berries, only birds and people, but
never have I known sea fish to have a liking for berries.
The shark protested in a friendly, restrained way. --- Come on, I love
berries, they drift above the waves. Mataginifale gave in, and shared her
berries with the shark. After a while they established a friendship. The
shark got more bold and asked Mataginifale if she would like to visit his
king. --- What, screamed Mata, did you not know we live on land not in
the sea? The shark gave his solemn promise to look after her and when the
meeting with the King was over the King personally would bring her home.
Mata went away and thought about it. In her dreams the birds of the forest
were screaming dontgodontgodontgodontgodontgo.