Friday, October 3, 2008


When the earth was not so crowded, the air not so dense, there was a fairy called Matariki. Sky was her abode and she had a star like all other fairies. But, she loved her star so much that she never forgot to clean that with the morning dew. It was the brightest star in the evening sky. Whoever saw it got spellbound. That made the other fairies so jealous.

And Tane? He was the god of plants. He gave juice to the fruits, life to the leaves and color to the flowers. When he looked at the greens he created, he became proud of his own work and thought, "No one would ever look at anything else after seeing such wonderful things".

But, people always looked at Matariki's star in the evening sky over the tree tops, and praised that. So, one day Tane felt angry. But, he thought, "OK. It's one single star after all. Very soon it'll grow old n blurry, and then it will die."

That did not happen, however. Matariki's star grew brighter as days passed to evenings. And people appreciated its beauty more and more.

When the world went to slumberland, in the deep of night, Tane whispered to the ears of two jealous fairies, "Let's unite! Let's knock down Matariki and steal her star." The fairies whispered back, "Hush hush! Matariki is awake. Not now. When her eyelids will be dropping in the fullmoon dreams, come back at that time.

No one heard those whispers, except the little daughter of the King of Seas. Every night, after darkness fell over the earth, she played with the reflection of Matariki's star in the water, and fell asleep dreaming of Matariki and her star . Princess' eyes watered in sadness hearing this.

At that time, the southern wind was buzzing around over the Princess' house. She started whispering to the wind, "Oh Southern wind! Do you know they want to kill Matariki." Wind started crying hearing that. But, the Princess suggested something. She asked the wind to tell Matariki about the conspiracy and to tell her not to sleep, on that night.

Wind suggested they should go together. Then night broke into dawn, and Southern wind had to leave. Sun had just taken his vermilion bath and appeared on his golden chariot. The Princess requested to him, "Please take me to the sky!" And Sun spread one of his golden beams to her path.

The Princess moved up through that beam, shrouded by the wind so that no one could see her. This way, she reached Matariki's home and told her everything.

Matariki listened. But, she was helpless. What could she do? She said, "Where else can I go? I'll protect my star here with my life."

The Princess came back with a sad mind to her water palace.

Then, after one week, came that dreadful shining night. Tane and his team of jealous fairies came out to steal Matariki's star. Matariki ran and ran hugging her star... Under the galaxies, in the shadows of dark stars, she ran and ran. Her hide n seek, with Tane and his team, for life. Southern wind silently saw everything, the Princess saw it from under her water. But, they were weak. They could not help Matariki. All other sky-fairies saw it too. But, everyone shooed away Matariki. Nobody gave her protection.

After running for hours, Matariki lost breath. She could not run any more. She thought, "The daughter of Water-King loves me so much. Better take shelter to her." Matariki drowned in the water with her star. Below water, under the cold darkness of shadowy algae, she hid herself. The Princess covered her with all the planktons she had.

All the jealous fairies were searching for her, meanwhile. Where is Matariki? Where could she go? Suddenly, one fairy saw a gleam of the star, and said, "She is there! Under water!"

Tane grunted, "Who has hidden her there?" The Princess' little heart beat in fear. But, she kept silent. Then Tane said, "Very well. I know how to get her out." He came to the verge of water, and spread all the plants' roots deep inside. Like a hissing dragon, the plants started sucking up the sea.

Then, Matariki sprang out of the water. All her wearies were gone after resting under water. No one could catch her now. All jealous fairies were tired and night was to end now. They said, "Let her go."

But, Tane bubbled up in rage. "Let her go! Impossible." He looked around and saw an idle, old star forsaken on the corner of the road. Tane picked it up and threw it at Matariki's star.

And suddenly there was a flash and a long din. Matariki cried out in sorrow. Everyone saw in wonder, the brightest star in the evening sky was now broken in seven splinters. Tane ran over them and kicked them away and laughed out, "Now people see how beautiful are trees! My trees!" Jealous fairies grinned and giggled and laughed.

So many years have passed since then. But, if you still go to the land of Southern Wind you will see the seven broken pieces of the brightest star of evening sky blinking in the same corner of the sky. The King's daughter still plays with their reflections before sleep. And on fullmoon nights you still can hear Matariki's long sigh...

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