Puuraakau Moeahu

About Moeahu. This child partly resembled a dog. Its head was that of a man, but its eyes, appearance of the face, the nose, the jaws, and the mouth, were like a dog. Its body was also that of a man; its shoulders, arms, thighs, calves; but the soles of its feet and its nails were just like those of a dog. It is said it spoke like a dog barking; but its knowledge of directions given to it was just that of a man. It was very active in chasing a man; no one could escape from it; it was very brave in fighting, and could not be caught by a man. It used three weapons in fighting, a taiaha, its mouth, and its feet it would tear a man’s body with the claws of its feet, Notwithstanding that two or three men attacked it, it could not be mastered.

On one occasion this monster ate the contents of the calabash of preserved birds belonging to Te Kowha, who on one occasion this monster ate the contents of the calabash of preserved birds belonging to Te Kowha, who caught it in the act. Te Kowha proceeded to take the calabash, but was afraid to approach the monster who had a halbert and an apatahi in his hand, together with the food. Te Kowha was angry at this and went to fetch his spear to spear it. His elder brothers Pohau, Potaka, and Potonga said to him, “A! leave it alone! Leave it to him, it is about all eaten.” But Te Kowha was not satisfied, his anger was very great. His brothers again said, “O! you will be killed presently if you attack the monster.” But he would not listen; he went off with the spear, stripped to the skin, with no clothing on.

Directly Moeahu saw him advancing with the spear he rushed forward. The speed of his running! The spear was thrust at the monster; he caught it and broke it whilst Te Kowha fled. But he was caught by the monster. With one blow from his club Te Kowha fell to the earth. Now, his three brothers armed themselves and flew to his assistance, but the one blow at Te Kowha had killed him right out. And then the monster turned on the three brothers. Potonga was armed with a halbert, Pohau with a spear, whilst Potaka had a long spear. Now all these men were accounted as exceedingly brave, so the dog fled, pursued by the men.

Now it is said that Manutuke at Turanga is a fine plain. The chase had extended for a long distance when the monster observed that one of the pursuers was in advance of the others, so he turned on him and a fight ensued with Potonga, who was killed by Moeahu. Then Potaka came up, and he also was killed by Moeahu, and finally when Pohau attacked him he also was killed. The reason why Moeahu ate the calabash of preserved food was because he was angry at Te Kowha taking the fish from the stage situated in the forest belonging to the brothers and sisters of Moeahu, and brought them to the village. That was thieving.

So Moeahu sought some course to raise a quarrel with those people. Hence he came, and ate the calabash of food in the village itself, so the others should be angry and attack him and thus offer an opportunity for killing them.

Now, there are some other tales about this dog Moeahu, but let the above suffice.

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