Thursday, December 19. 2013
Wednesday, December 18. 2013
Once upon a time when the mists of the past were settled on the land of the long white cloud, there was a Pa on a remote island where the iwi who called it home, lived in peace and harmony. They believed peaceful co-existence with all of the Great Spirit’s creation was the most important thing of all. They feared the bush at night and believed it was then that the spirits walked abroad looking to capture a reckless soul who may wander into their realm. Continue reading "PAKI AND THE GREAT MOA by Susan Schlaadt" »
Tuesday, December 17. 2013
Once upon a time a student left his mother’s home to find his place in the world. He promised to return soon for dinner, waved good-bye, and took the bus across town to his first flat.
His new flatmates had many friends, and one afternoon a beautiful backpacker came to visit. She was on her way to the airport, flying out to Bali for the surfing there. She told the student that the waves on shore began as easy-to-learn tipplers, moving out in jewels of green and blue to towering walls of water. “It’s like riding a dragon,” she told him.
Continue reading "THE STUDENT AND THE BACKPACKER by Jane Blaikie" »
Monday, December 16. 2013
Once upon a time. That’s what Shelley wrote at the top of each fresh page in her journal when she began a new story. Once upon a time there was a miller and his wife, a rich man, a poor man, a source of constant sorrow.
The pages of her journal filled up with words. Sometimes she added a calligraphic flourish or began with a giant O in a box like the story books on her shelf did, but otherwise only words spilled over the page. Continue reading "FOULER’S BOX by Sara Watson" »
Sunday, December 15. 2013
Once upon a time nestled in the rattled, earthquake weary port hills of Cashmere, New Zealand, three people and two dogs settled down to watch a BBC film called ‘An Education’. Continue reading "BANANA TALE by Pamela Stylianou" »
Friday, December 13. 2013
Once upon a time in a deep dark pool in a deep dark river there lived a monster. The people of the land called him a taniwha. He was huge and scaly with sharp teeth and giant claws on his four knobbly feet.
There was a hill beside the pool and on the other side of that hill there was a pa called Te Ua Pata where a tribe lived. They dug fernroot, roamed far and wide hunting and trapping birds, and their children played in a stream in the forest. But that part of the river where the taniwha lurked was tapu, which meant that nobody in the tribe dared to go there. Continue reading "THE MAGIC SONG by Keith Austin" »
Thursday, December 12. 2013
Once upon a time there lived a peculiar little boy named Jake. Jake was particularly peculiar as he had never uttered a word. Horrified by the thought of a silent son, Jake’s parents rushed him to various psychiatrists, pharmacists, psychics and priests, all of whom came to the conclusion that he simply refused to make a noise. Continue reading "THE BOY WHO HAD NO VOICE by Abby Aitcheson" »
Thursday, December 12. 2013
Once upon a time there was a girl whose favourite colour was yellow. She thought it was the warmest, brightest, happiest colour in the world and you could never have too much of it. So much so that everyone called her the yellow girl.
One summer morning she got up and put on her yellow t-shirt, yellow dress, stripey yellow tights and yellow jandals. For breakfast, she had three bowls of rice bubbles and a banana smoothie. She made four cheese sandwiches and put them in her backpack. Then she kissed her mother and little brother good-bye.
Continue reading "THE YELLOW GIRL AND THE SUN BEAR by Pip Desmond" »
Wednesday, December 11. 2013
Once upon a time there was a boy and his sister who were visiting a museum with their mother and father. They had come to the city to explore, and this was a first visit for them all. On this particular evening it was raining and blowing hard, so there were very few people inside the museum. Continue reading "THE CLOAKS by Joy Wiles" »
Tuesday, December 10. 2013
Based on a true story...
Once upon a time there was a family. They looked like a family, ate together as a family, played as a family, and laughed and cried together as a normal family does. They even thought they were a family. But they weren’t. They were bitzers - two kids from a female bitzer and one from a male bitzer - all blended together by the seven year old hyper-active child from the union of the bitzer parents. Regardless, the bitzers loved one other, just like in a pedigree family. Continue reading "WORKING FOR FAMILIES by Denise Cox" »
Sunday, December 8. 2013
Once upon a time, in the very far north of Aotearoa, there was a great storm and a child was washed up on the beach.
Stefan, the baker’s son, was running along the beach on his seventh birthday when he came across a half drowned girl lying in a rock pool. She had sand in her thick brown hair and seaweed between her little white fingers and toes.
Continue reading "THE TANIWHA’S CHILD by Helen Yuretich" »
Sunday, December 8. 2013
Once upon a time there lived a particularly unpleasant and ugly wizard He was tall and thin and his back was stooped because he spent so many hours hunched up reading old books of spells and magic rhymes. His clothes were drab and grey but he always wore a magnificent silk cloak of the darkest navy blue with all the night stars sewn on with silver thread. He also wore a long pointed hat with a broach of coiled gold just like the sun. Continue reading "ST GEORGINA AND THE DRAGON by Piers Davies" »
Saturday, December 7. 2013
Once upon a time, Ida had seven sons. They came to Kohukohu suddenly and without explanation. No-one knew who their father was, or where they had gone when they disappeared. As fishermen, they were attuned to the moon and tides, never returning home without a full catch. That fateful day they’d set out around dusk to set the flounder nets. Soon after, an unsettling hush descended. Continue reading "SEVEN SONS by Louise Evans" »
Friday, December 6. 2013
Once upon a time, in a little country called Aotearoa, there was a young man who loved music. He was a gentle & kind person who patted cats & dogs & said friendly things to both Young old alike. He lived with his widowed mother & Mozart, the cat, in a small, cold house in the poorest
part of town.
Continue reading "THE SAD MUSICIAN by Campbell Shaw" »
Thursday, December 5. 2013
Once upon a time there lived an iwi chieftain who had three sons. The eldest son was very strong. His name was Kaitiaki. The second son was very clever. His name was Hoturapa. Those two were rivals. The youngest son was neither strong nor clever, but he was kindhearted. His name was Maui. Maui was scorned by the others, who never let him join in their adventures. Continue reading "MAUI AND THE TANIWHA by Lucy Rogers" »
Wednesday, December 4. 2013
Once upon a time a weka lived with his brothers in a swamp not far from a dark forest. He was a cheeky fellow, sharp-eyed and quick, and always ready to help himself to whatever he saw in front of him. One day he grew bored of the swamp, realising he was no more sharp-eyed or quick than any of his brothers, and that he had found everything there was to be found there, so he left his family in the swamp to go exploring. Continue reading "THE WEKA by Tim Robinson" »
Tuesday, December 3. 2013
Once upon a time there was a sole parent who lived in a hill suburb bungalow. Paint was peeling off the weatherboards but the house was brightened by the woman’s preferred plants, a kowhai tree and fuchsia bush, one each side of the front door. With her, lived her two daughters, Kowhai-Gold and Magenta-Red, so named for their mother’s favourite flowers. Continue reading "KOWHAI-GOLD AND MAGENTA-RED by Ann Horner" »
Monday, December 2. 2013
Once upon a time there lived a mother, a father, a brother and a sister.
Now, times were tough and work, money and food itself were scarce. One evening, the boy sat huddled next to his sister in the shadows, hoping a little of the heat from the small fire below might reach them and warm their bones. They sat there, listening, listening - ears straining into the darkness. If they'd been able to sleep despite the cold, despite the ache in their insides, the tension in that house would yet have kept them awake, eyes wide, heads cocked.
Continue reading "ONE M TOO MANY or WHERE'S THE FAIRY GODMOTHER..." »
Sunday, December 1. 2013
Once upon a time a farmer lived with her son Ben. Twelve days before Christmas, Ben sat at the desktop in the farm office. He surfed the great web of faces and voices which connects all people. Quite by chance he found a beautiful princess. Her name was Hilda. She was sad because her parents had died. Now she had to live with her aunt who kept her locked up in a high tower. Continue reading "THE CHRISTMAS TREE by Peter Rawnsley" »
Saturday, November 30. 2013
Once upon a time, not so long ago, it was lambing time in the South Island of New Zealand.
On the lower foothills of the Southern Alps, during spring, the ewe Sunshine gave birth to triplet lambs. She called them Blossom, Dewdrop and Snowy. The triplets were very adorable and they enjoyed a carefree lamb-hood. They woke up serenaded by the sounds of tui and bell-bird and they danced and played around in the daffodil meadow. Whenever they were hungry or thirsty, they nursed on Sunshine, who loved them to bits.
Continue reading "THE WILD BOAR AND THE THREE LITTLE LAMBS by..." »
Friday, November 29. 2013
Once upon a time there was a young man called Hans Zimmermann. He lived in Hameln, a small town in Germania. Hans came to the end of his three year apprenticeship in carpentry. He had built many wooden houses, wooden staircases and wooden roofs. You name it, Hans had built it! Continue reading "HANS THE HAPPY WANDERER by Pī" »
Thursday, November 28. 2013
Once upon a time a small girl stamped her feet and cried a bucketful of tears. Why? Because her mother who she thought loved no one but her, announced that she was getting married. “Tama is my prince,” her mother sighed. “He is always helping people; he is handsome, romantic, as strong as a giant bull and as gentle as a flimsy butterfly. He guides people over tall mountains, and tells them stories about wild life and the bush. He is everything that we could want in a husband and father.
Continue reading "BOSSY BIRD by Anne McDonell" »
Wednesday, November 27. 2013
Once upon a time in old Russia, lived Natasha and her sister, Sonya.
On Natasha’s birthday, Sonya and her friends planned a surprise party in the forest.
Her friends burst out of the bushes shouting, “Happy Birthday, Natasha!” Delighted by her surprise, Natasha danced for joy and they sat down to enjoy a picnic.
Continue reading "THE MAGIC CLOAK by Brian Brodie" »
Tuesday, November 26. 2013
Once upon a time, a very, VERY long time ago, all the animals lived together, Some spent most of their time in the forest, while others stayed in the sea for a great deal of the day. But they had no special homes of their own, and so they went about their daily affairs with all the other animals around them. Continue reading "ANIMAL LAND by John Newman" »
Monday, November 25. 2013
Once upon a time, not so very long ago, a happy couple lived in a cottage at the foot of Mount Manaia. Every day, after they came home from work, they would walk together through the bush and up the hill, pulling out gorse seedlings and pampas grass, and listening to the whistle-gurgle-chuckle of the tui and the whoosh-kerthump of the kereru. One warm evening, as they sat close together on the great roots of an ancient puriri tree, the wife said to the husband, “We are almost perfectly happy. If only we had a baby, our life would be perfect.”
Continue reading "THE KERERU OF MOUNT MANAIA by Ann Willman" »
Sunday, November 24. 2013
Once upon a time there were three brothers who lived in a land of small and rainy islands far from anywhere. Each of the brothers had been given great gifts at birth.
The eldest brother was given a herd of golden cows that produced milk more delicious than any other and a flock of golden sheep that grew wool more gloriously warm and soft than any other.
Continue reading "THE THREE RICH BROTHERS by Beth Braddock" »
Saturday, November 23. 2013
Once upon a time in a long land of white topped mountains and emerald islands lying along the bottom of the world in the turquoise sea, there lived a family of four children; three boys and a girl, now grown up adults who one day suspended belief.
Continue reading "THE LONG WHITE CLOUD by Shensu" »
Friday, November 22. 2013
Once upon a time a young pig-hunter set out to see the world. He tucked his long hunting knife into his leather belt and pulled on a thick bush shirt. Then he travelled far and wide and had many adventures while the cold winter days melted into the softness of spring, and then into the heat of summer. One New Year’s Eve he travelled towards a town along a gravelled road lined with small, white wooden crosses, yet when he arrived within the town he found the whole place decked out in black.
Continue reading "THE PIG-HUNTER by Nanette Monin" »
Continue reading "THE PIG-HUNTER by Nanette Monin" »
Thursday, November 21. 2013
Once upon a time in a land by the very end of the world there lived an industrious people in a beautiful mountain valley at the edge of a powerful kingdom. The extensive forest yielded many fruits, nuts, leaves, roots and flowers which the people and the abundant birds used for food; an excess was traded with those beyond the valley. Numerous fish were in the rivers which flowed crystal clear from the slopes. Gold was a very useful item for the local crafters and for trade. It was claimed that the valley held large quantities of other valuable resources too. The people lived in harmony with their world.
Continue reading "AHMIRU’S BIRDS by Norman Tolra" »
Wednesday, November 20. 2013
Once upon a time a pretty young woman became separated from her tribe while on a fishing expedition far, far from home.
Kaea hummed happily to herself as she tied fat, slippery eels onto her flax twine.
She did not hear the call telling the fishing party to stop and turn for home.
Before leaving everyone was warned to stay close because whanau [family members] had mysteriously “disappeared”.
Continue reading "KAEA AND KOPUWAI THE TANIWHA by Queenie Rikihana" »
Tuesday, November 19. 2013
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