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Sport 8: Autumn 1992


On the train going north to my parents' house, I gaze out the windows. As we pass the bay there is a clear view out to the treble cones of the Trembling Isles. Today, the islands live up to their name, trembling and shaking page 10 beneath the long cloud of steam which hovers above them. I cannot shake from my mind the sound of my father's voice, distant on the line. Love and fear fill my heart in equal proportions.

I read the book I have brought with me. My great-grandfather's 'Myths and Legends of the Tartan Isles'. The story I am reading tells of the great Polynesian hero, Maui-of-a-thousand-tricks, and of his attempt to challenge the earthquake god, Whakaruaumoko. The author claims that the story was told to him by a native farm-hand, a man of prodigious memory. He says that he copied it down exactly. Although recently, scholars have thrown doubt on my great-grandfather's stories. It seems that he was not a good listener. That he made his stories up. That they are more pakeha lies.