By Ted Dawe

Winner of the Margaret Mahy Award

"Some rivers shouldn't be swum in. a few rivers carry secrets and techniques that may by no means be told."

Te Arepa is an adventurous Maori boy, absolute to the heritage, customs and rituals of his humans. but while he comes upon an enormous eel whereas fishing, he's confident the creature is a taniwha, or water demon, and follows it. but what Te Arepa reveals within the river is way varied, way more sinister. and it'll swap his existence forever.

Te Arepa has constantly been concerned with experiencing existence past his tribe. His needs look granted whilst he's offered a scholarship at a prestigious boarding institution, distant from the Maori. forsaking his family members and their traditions, Te Arepa units out to find a wierd new international with customs of its own...as good as new enemies.

When he arrives in class, Te Arepa reveals the liberty and every thing it bargains intoxicating. yet to slot in, he realizes that he needs to shed his identification, tradition, or even his identify. And he involves notice that what the water demon confirmed him within the darkness of the river that day replaced him, and that freedom comes with a heavy price.

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The following it carried a palpable odor of dubiousness due to its organization with issues cultural and accordingly dodgy. At Barwell’s, if it wasn’t a game, ideally one who inflicted ordinary damage, then it was once a poofy task and drama and choir have been on the “fag” finish of the size. accordingly, the construction was once at all times often called The Fags and Losers Suite: shortened, in grownup listening to, to the FLS. Set except the opposite constructions, the FLS consisted of a few small perform rooms equipped round an auditorium. there have been diverse principles the following. within the FLS every thing was once dependent round attractiveness, recognition and favour. dimension and seniority counted for little and not anything was once past the boy who performed the process to his virtue. during this position Steph’s good fortune have been meteoric. It used to be effortless to determine why he had gravitated right here. not just used to be it a secure haven, but additionally a spot the place, very quickly, he had validated himself among all of the strength elites. Like many boys within the FLS, Steph was once a “pet” to a few senior: in his case a quiet boy known as Barry Briggs. again in Marsden residence, Briggs used to be no longer anyone with whom Devon and Steph had any actual touch, yet the following within the song suite it was once various. FLS principles utilized. Briggs continually had whatever mystery to inform Steph. whilst he talked it always concerned whispering, his face as regards to Steph’s ear. This used to be via common high-pitched giggles. None of which could occur in Marsden. there have been little provides from Briggs too, and favours. Steph used to be donning Briggs’s watch. He had one among his personal yet he wore Barry’s. He bought to take advantage of his cellphone too. Steph, for his half, simply needed to snigger on the lame jokes; smile and make allowance himself to be hugged. not anything used to be ever basic at Barwell’s, even though, and the FLS used to be no varied. What made it tough was once the Director of track, Mr Willis (Willie to the boys). Willie had arrived with a flourish midway in the course of their 3rd shape 12 months. The outdated Director of tune, Mr Walker (nicknamed Johnny Walker due to his whiskey breath) had left by surprise. whilst Willie arrived, the headmaster had brought him as a “new broom”. It used to be not easy to grasp what had the most important impression at the college: his haircut, his vivid crimson Mini, or the remodeled rock songs he brought to morning assemblies. It used to be as if he had a license to do exactly no matter what he wanted. understand that, within the FLS it was once Willie who set the normal for everybody else. His “cool stuff” — his jokes, his outfits, musical tastes — grew to become the lads’ “cool stuff” while he was once round. This was once an unstated knowing. After night choir perform, the song was once pumped up and everybody danced as if their lives trusted it. Even the following, his strikes have been those that counted. per week or after becoming a member of the choir, Devon used to be at the receiving finish of a narrative which the entire different boys claimed to have heard again and again. Willie were instructing Steph an extended, advanced piece at the piano in a single of the perform rooms. They sat jointly at the piano stool, fingers speeding up and down the keyboard.

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