Ron and Betty took Brian
and June for a pleasant Sunday
outing, two middle aged couples
enjoying sun and coastal breezes.
At shallow rocky outcrops keen
diver Ron slipped over the side
to gather paua* for lunch and
dinner for four – nothing to exceed
their quota should fisheries
inspectors arrive to check the catch.
No inspectors appeared but the
three on the boat stared as long
dark shapes converged on Ron
down under the sparkling waters.
Ron standing up faced three
orcas nose to nose as they
snooped into his bag, his gear.
“Close enough to hongi !” he
gasped as they hauled him up
with his catch for their lunch.
The traditional New Zealand
Maori hongi signifies peace and
goodwill as the participants
touch noses to breathe the same air.
Did those orca pranksters mean
goodwill or mischievous teasing ?
Ron ended his diving for the day.
*paua – New Zealand abalone
** Very loosely based on an incident reported
on our national news in March 2017.