The Magic Pen – page 82
May 15th, 2013

The Magic Pen – page 82


Phar Lap: famous New Zealand racehorse (1926-1932), also known as “Big Red,” “Wonder Horse,” “Bobby” and “Big Terror.” Even today, New Zealanders and Australians argue over which country can claim Phar Lap as theirs.

Cripes: increasingly obsolete British 20th century slang, euphemistic for “Christ!”

Puckarooed: New Zealand slang for totally broken, ruined, beyond repair. A corruption of the Maori word pakaru (smashed, shattered, broken).

Hinemoa’s calabash: from one of New Zealand’s most celebrated love stories, the legend of Hinemoa. Hinemoa was a beautiful maiden who swam across Lake Rotorua to Mokoia Island one night to join her lover Tutanekai (guided in the darkness by the sound of his flute). She stayed afloat by holding six empty gourds, and upon landing she warmed herself in the Waikimihia hot springs, afraid to enter her lover’s village unclothed. While she was there, Tutanekai’s servant arrived to fetch water for his master. Hinemoa hid herself, snatching the servant’s calabash and breaking it. The servant went back and told Tutanekai what had happened and his master again sent him to the spring with another calabash to fill. Hinemoa hid once more and broke the second calabash. This happened several times, until finally Tutanekai himself went down to the pool to confront the calabash-breaking culprit – and the two lovers were reunited (and lived happily ever after).

The Canals of Mars: mythical features of the red planet, first erroneously identified in 1877 by Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli who mistook an optical illusion for a series of long, straight lines stretching across Mars’ equatorial regions. Others went on to speculate that these lines were irrigation canals built by intelligent Martians.

One Comment...

  1. Kevin L.

    Really loving the last few pages. Terrific work!

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