The Whale Rider
New Crown English Series 3 (Heisei 17) pg. 38-41
For many, many years, only men were the leaders of a small Maori village in New Zealand. The leader, Koro, hoped his first grandchild would be a boy. But a girl, Kahu, was born.
Koro was so unhappy that he rejected Kahu. He would not teach her the traditions of the village. But she loved him. Her grandmother, Nanny, tried to help but could do nothing.
Koro taught the boys of the village its traditions. "We are people of the whales."
He looked for a new leader. "Here." He threw a special stone into the sea. "Bring it to me." The task was too difficult to do. The stone stayed in the sea.
Later Kahu went into the sea. She got the stone and gave it to Nanny. "Kahu, you have special powers, but don't say anything yet. The secret is ours."
"Listen," Koro said. Everyone listened. The sea was singing. "Look at the sea." They looked. A huge group of whales was coming. The leader, an old, old whale, swan onto the beach. Others followed. Their cries were terrible.
"Come to the beach, men." Koro shouted. "We must save them. We must."
The men worked all day. They worked all night. The whales would not move. They were on the beach to die.
"I must save the whales." Kahu went up to the old whale and said, "Come Father. You must live. We must live." She climbed on him. "Come, Father. Come!" Slowly the whales turned around. She rode him into the sea.
Three days later, they found Kahu at sea. In the hospital Koro and Nanny held her.
"Kahu," said her grandfather. "You have special powers. You will be our leader." Nanny smiled.