English Mouri Myth

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How Māui brought fire to the world One evening, after eating a hearty meal, Māui lay beside his fire staring into the flames. He watched the flames flicker and dance and thought to himself, I wonder where fire comes from. Māui, being the curious person that he was, decided that he needed to find out. In the middle of the night, while everyone was sleeping, Māui went from village to village and extinguished all the fires until not a single fire burned in the world. He then went back to his whar
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  How Māui brought fire to the world   One evening, after eating a hearty meal, Māui lay beside his fire staring into the flames. He watched the flames flicker and dance and thought to himself, I wonder where fire comes from. Māui , being the curious person that he was, decided that he needed to find out. In the middle of  the night, while everyone was sleeping, Māui went from village to village and extinguished all the fires until not a single fire burned in the world. He then went back to his whare and waited.The next morning there was an uproar in the village. How can we cook our breakfast, there's no fire! called a worried mother. How will we keep warm at night? cried another. We can't possibly live without fire! the villagers said to one another.The people of the village were very frightened. They asked Taranga, who was their rangatira, tohelp solve the problem. Someone will have to go and see the great goddess, Mahuika, and ask her for fire, said Taranga.None of the villagers were eager to meet Mahuika, they had all heard of the scorching mountain where she lived. So Māui offered to set out in search of Mahuika, secretly glad that his plan had worked. Be very careful, said Taranga. Although you are a descendant of Mahuika she will not takekindly to you if you try and trick her. I'll find the great ancestress Mahuika and bring fire back to the world, Māui assured his mother.   Māui walked to the scorching mountain to the end of the earth following the instructions from his mother and found a huge mountain glowing red hot with heat. At the base of the mountain Māuisaw a cave entrance. Before he entered, Māui whispered a special karakia to himself as protectionfrom what lay beyond. But nothing could prepare Māui for  what he saw when he entered thesacred mountain of Mahuika.Mahuika, the goddess, rose up before him, fire burning from every pore of her body, her hair amass of flames, her arms outstretched, and with only black holes where her eyes once were. Shesniffed the air. Who is this mortal that dares to enter my dwelling? Māui gathered the courage to speak, It is I, Māui, son of Taranga.   Huh! Yelled Mahuika. Māui, the son of Taranga?   Yes the last born, Māui -tikitiki-a-Taranga. Well then, Māui -tikitiki-a-Taranga, welcome, welcome to the essence of the flame, welcome mygrandchild. Mahuika stepped closer to Māui, taking a deep sniff of his scent. Māui stood completely still, even though the flames from Mahuika's skin were unbearably hot. So... why do you come, Māui -tikitiki-a-Taranga? Mahuika finally asked. Māui said, The fires of the world have been extinguished, I have come to ask you for fire. Mahuika listened carefully to Māui, and then she laughed. She pulled a fingernail from one of her  burning fingers and gave it to him. Take this fire as a gift to your people. Honour this fire as you honour me. So Māui left the house of Mahuika taking with him the fingernail of fire.   As Māui walked along the side of the road he thought to himself, What if  Mahuika had no fireleft, then where would she get her fire from? Māui couldn't contain his curiosity. He quickly threw the fingernail into a stream and headed back to Mahuika's cave. I tripped and fell, said Māui. Could I please have another?  Mahuika was in a good mood. She hadn't spoken to someone in quite some time and she liked Māui. She gladly gave Māui another of her fingernails.   But Māui soon extinguished this fingernail as well and returned to Mahuika with another excuse.   A fish splashed my fl ame as I was crossing the river, Māui said.  Mahuika provided another of her fingernails, not suspecting that she was being tricked.This continued for most of the day until Mahuika had used all her fingernails and had even given up her toenails. When Māui   returned to ask for another, Mahuika was furious. She knew Māui had been tricking her and threw the burning toenail to the ground. Instantly Māui was surrounded by fire and chased from the cave.   Māui changed himself into a hawk and escaped to the sky, but the flames burned so high that theysinged the underside of his wings, turning them a glowing red.  Māui dived towards a river, hoping to avoid the flames in the coolness of the water, but the immense heat made the water boil. Māui was desperate. He called   on his ancestor Tāwhirimātea for help. Tāwhirimātea atua o ngāhau e whā, āwhinatia mai!  Then, a mass of clouds gathered and a torrent of rain fell to put out the many fires. Mahuika'smountain of fire no longer burned hot.Mahuika had lost much of her power, but still she was not giving up. She took her very last toenail and threw it at Māui in anger. The toenail of fire missed Māui and flew into the trees, planting itself in the Mahoe tree, the Tōtara, the Patete, the Pukatea, and the Kaikōmako trees. These trees cherished and held onto the fire of Mahuika, considering it a great gift. When Māui returned to his village he didn't bring back fire as the villagers had expected. Insteadhe brought back dry wood from the Kaikōmako tree and showed them how to rub the dry stickstogether forming friction which would eventually start a fire. The villagers were very happy to beable to cook their food once more and to have the warmth of their fires at night to comfort them. Māui satisf  ied his curiosity in finding the srcin of fire, although he very nearly paid the ultimateprice in doing so. To this day the Kahu, the native hawk of Aotearoa, still retains the red singed feathers on the underside of its wings, a reminder of how close Mā ui was to death. This is the story of how Māui brought fire to the world.  
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