Stories of the Island
Charlie Blampied – September 2017
“We started our walk through a small bush and couldn’t hear the guide over the sound of the birds singing. We walked on over a half mud half gravel track and could only hear the lovely sound of a Grey Warbler. We continued our walk past monstrous slips, when I looked at it I could see a black line of dark mud from when Mt Rangitoto erupted thousands of years before. I heard the sound of a Tui as I walked past a muddy pond. I continued past a bush of native trees like Manuka and Totara which volunteers had planted many years before.
I ran to catch up to the group, as I ran I could hear the amazing sound of Aotearoa’s native birds. The volunteers had reintroduced many endangered endemic birds on the island: Kiwi, Kakapo, Takahe, Saddleback, Miro Miro, Piwakawaka, Tui, Silvereye, Tom Tit, Ruru and many many more. We wandered past pill boxes which my great grandfather used to fight in World War II. We went into a big place where a huge gun was kept, the space was echoey, so I sang out loud! We then went underground where other guns were kept, it was so dark. We came outside and had a photo with our grandparents and cousins, Pops, B, Leo, Jasper, Adi and Barnaby.
Our guide John told us a funny story about the war. Every night some soldiers had to keep lookout and man the guns, and the person in charge used to make a joke of it. When the soldiers were keeping lookout, the Captain would climb under the fence surrounding the big gun, and would sneak up behind the soldiers and give them a massive fright. But one night the soldiers were seeking revenge. They dumped a pile of cow poo under the fence where the Captain would sneak by. As the Captain was making his way to the fence the soldiers couldn’t help giggling to themselves. After that the Captain never scared them again!
By the end of the story it was time to go so we wandered past the singing birds and the beautiful Pohutukawa trees. At the fence line there was a whole row of blue flowers, they were so pretty. We walked back to the place called the Reid Homestead where we played games, including Sack Race (I won), egg and spoon race (I won that too), and a relay race (we came second). We also had a lollie scramble, it was so much fun!
We caught the ferry home, it was quite long and bumpy, and it gave me time to finish writing this story. When I went on the outside deck I was almost blown away, but it was awesome. I felt like I was on top of the world! I really miss Motutapu Island, I hope I can go back one day. Thank you so much for the experience.”