Lake Wakatipu – Part II

…..

A few days later, Matakauri asked Manata ‘Do you think if we asked your father, we would be able to marry?’ Manata leaped up with joy! She was waiting for this moment when Matakauri would ask her this. They decided to go to her father that evening and ask for her hand in marriage. That evening, Matakauri knocked on the chief’s door. Manata ran to the door before her mother could reach it. She opened the door with a bright smile on her face. They all sat on the floor beside the fireplace in pin-drop silence. ‘I would like to marry your daughter’, said Matakauri. No one said anything for a while. The chief was the one to break the silence. ‘I cannot allow you to marry my daughter.’ He said, a threatening tone in his voice, ‘both of you are from different classes of society. It is an impossible request.’ Manata burst into sobs as her mother made Matakauri leave. He protested shouting at the chief but nothing could be done. The chief had made up his mind.

That night, Manata cried herself to sleep. As she fell into a deep sleep, a large hand broke the roof of the house with a thud. Manata was picked up and in her place a note was kept. A note which said-

                           ”  To get your daughter back, send your bravest men.

                                 They will fail, I promise  she shall be my wife. “

The next morning, a cry pierced the air. A meeting was held in the village. The chief said, ‘My daughter has been taken by the giant Matau who resides in the morning. Whoever can rescue her will be given the privilege of marrying my daughter. It doesn’t matter which class you are from. If you can get her back, you will be wed to each other.’ Matakauri knew this was his chance. He also knew that Matau could not be beaten until the warm nor’west winds blew into the giant’s lair. Matakauri decided to follow the winds into the giant’s lair. Matakauri found Matau asleep on his bed. Manata was tied up to a tree near the bed[12]. Matakauri crept towards the tree, trying not to make a sound. Manata cried with relief as she saw him. He desperately tried to undo the ropes that were tying her to the tree. It was of no prevailing. He could not break them. Manata’s tears rolled down her cheeks as she saw the desperation in Matakauri eyes. Her love was hurting and hence, so was she. The tears rolled down and fell upon the ropes. There was a bright light and when the light had diminished, they saw that the ropes had been dissolved. The love in Manata’s tears had done the impossible. This was the work of the magic known as love.

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