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Garo Matana, the blue-eyed child – Part 3

Blue-eyesISO YAWI
| A fictional story in three parts

As Pala was readying the food for his wife Tarubo at the vavine numana (women’s house), Laka left for her own house in the village.

When Pala came out, Laka was gone. Pala went to Laka’s house, but there was no one there. The house was quiet as if abandoned.

“Laka!” Pala called. “You there? I’m ready with the food.”

There was no answer. The woman seemed to have vanished.

“Where did she go?” he said to himself.

Pala decided to gather the food items he’d prepared and leave for Rako plateau and his wife and new son.

“Ha, old woman, Laka. I will leave without you.”

Pala sang traditional songs as walked and, as he reached the edge of the plateau, he met Pokana coming the other way.

“Where’s Laka?” Pokana asked.

“She delivered the news to me and vanished,” Pala replied.

“OK, you’ve arrived so give me the food for the vavine numana.”

“Make sure to take good care of Tarubo and my son,” Pala said.


Pokana reached the plateau and laid down the food at the ladder of the vavine numana. She looked into the house but Tarubo and the newborn child were gone. She checked the hut behind, but there was no one. Tarubo and the baby seemed to have vanished.

Pokana thought of bad omens or that the bush men had taken them. Filled with shock and fear, she decided to search the plateau.



Then she heard a small voice from behind the gautupu trees.

“Tarubo, is that you?” Pokana asked.

“Shhh, be quiet,” Tarubo whispered, appearing from behind the trees with the child and looking anxious.

“Who are you hiding from?” asked Pokana.

Tears formed in Tarubo’s eyes and she looked at Pokana. She felt she could not formed words because of fear and sadness.

She finally wiped her eyes and whispered, “After you left, Laka came with five men to kill me and take the child, but I was warned by the birds before they came.

“I hid in the gautupu trees with the child. A few minutes later, Laka and the men came with clubs and spears and searched the vavine numana.

“It was good the child did not cry or make any noise. They left just a few minutes before you arrived.”

When Pokana heard Tarubo’s words, she determined they should leave. Pokana knew that Laka’s evil thoughts had been conceived when she held the beautiful child.

Pokana and Tarubo left with the child not daring to follow the main track. They climbed down the plateau and reached Babaka village.

It was evening by now and fires lit up every home. When they reached Pala’s house, Tarubo hugged her husband and broke into tears.

Pokana recited everything that had happened and advised them to leave the village for their safety. Pala held the blue eyed boy close to his heart and agreed. They left for the eastern village of Kakuli where they would be beyond harm.

The blue eyed child was born to Pala and Tarubo as a gift from the Rako plateau’s deity. The child’s purpose was still a mystery to the parents. Pala and Tarubo named their son Garo Matana. It means Eye of the Sun and it is a name given to blue-eyed children.

The end


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Barbara Short

Thanks Iso, for a great story.

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