Many eons ago a young taniwha played in the sun and splashed in the rock pools on the coast, watched over carefully by his mother in the Alps behind. After some time he grew tired, and curled up against his great-grandfather’s resting place. His watchful mother spread layers of alluvial gravel over him as a blanket as the taniwha sank into a deeper and deeper sleep.
The young taniwha dreamed of sea levels rising, of forests growing and giant flightless birds roaming among them. He dreamed of people coming in canoes, who hunted the great birds. He dreamed of forests burning. He dreamed of more people coming in great ships with white sails, who planted pastures for their sheep and cattle, and built a city on the edge of the great plains.
On Saturday 4th September, 2010 at 4:35am, as the humans measure time, the taniwha rolled over in his sleep, without fully awaking. The people in the city on the plains were woken by the shaking. As the taniwha snuggled himself back into a comfortable spot under his blanket, the city was further rattled.
The taniwha is gradually settling back into his deep sleep . He did not fully wake up, nor did his mother see the need to stir herself – this time.