One day Maui decided to go and find his parents. He travelled far and finally reached a settlement where his mother lived. She was unaware of his survival.
That night, Maui crept into the house, and went and sat behind one of his brothers, and hid himself.
When their mother counted her children that they might stand up ready for the dance.
´One, that´s Maui-taha; two, that´s Maui-roto; three, that´s Maui-pae, four, that´s Maui-waho´; and then she saw another, and cried out: ´Hallo, where did this fifth come from?’
´I belong to you too,´ said Maui, the last born.
The old woman counted them all over again, and said: ´Oh, no, there ought to be only four of you; now for the first time I´ve seen you.´
Maui and his mother stood for a long time disputing about this in the very middle of the ranks of all the dancers.
At last she got angry, and cried out: ´Come, you be off now, out of the house at once; you are no child of mine, you belong to someone else.´
Maui then spoke out quite boldly, and recited the circumstances of his birth as follows:
´Very well, I´d better be off then, for I suppose, as you say it, I must be the child of some other person; but indeed I did think I was your child when I said so, because I knew I was born at the side of the sea, and was thrown by you into the foam of the surf, after you had wrapped me up in a tuft of your hair, which you cut off for the purpose.
Then the seaweed formed and fashioned me, as caught in its long tangles the ever-heaving surges of the sea rolled me, folded as I was in them, from side to side, At length the breezes and squalls which blew from the ocean drifted me on shore again, and the soft jelly-fish of the long sandy beaches rolled themselves round me to protect me.
Then again myriads of flies alighted on me to buzz about me and lay their eggs, that maggots might eat me, and flocks of birds collected round me to peck me to pieces, but at that moment appeared there also my great ancestor, Tama-nui-ki-te-Rangi, and he saw the flies and the birds collected in clusters and flocks above the jelly-fish, and the old man ran, as fast as he could, and stripped off the encircling jelly-fish, and behold within there lay a human being. Then he caught me up and carried me to his house, and he hung me up in the roof that I might feel the warm smoke and the heat of the fire, so I was saved alive by the kindness of that old man.
At last I grew, and then I heard of the fame of the dancing of this great House of Assembly. It was that which brought me here. But from the time I was in your womb, I have heard the names of these your first born children, as you have been calling them over until this very night, when I again heard you repeating them. In proof of this I will now recite your names to you, my brothers. You are Maui-taha, and you are Maui-roto, and you are Maui-pae, and you are Maui-waho, and as for me, I´m little Maui-the-baby, and here I am sitting before you.´
When his Mother, Taranga, heard all this, she cried out: ´You dear little child, you are indeed my last-born, the son of my old age, therefore I now tell you your name shall be Maui-tikitiki-a-Taranga, or Maui-formed-in-the-top-knot-of-Taranga´, and he was called by that name.
After the disputing which took place on that occasion, his mother, Taranga, called to her last-born: ´Come here, my child, and sleep with the mother who bore you, that I may kiss you, and that you may kiss me´, and he ran to sleep with his mother.
His elder brothers were jealous, and began to murmur about this to each other.
´Well, indeed, our mother never asks us to go and sleep with her; yet we are the children she saw actually born, and about whose birth there is no doubt. When we were little things she nursed us, laying us down gently on the large soft mats she had spread out for us--then why does she not ask us now to sleep with her? When we were little things she was fond enough of us, but now we are grown older she never caresses us, or treats us kindly. But as for this little abortion, who can really tell whether he was nursed by the sea-tangles or by whom, or whether he is not some other person´s child, and here he is now sleeping with our mother. Who would ever have believed that a little abortion, thrown into the ocean, would have come back to the world again a living human being! And now this little rogue has the impudence to call himself a relation of ours.´
Then the two elder brothers said to the two younger ones: ´Never mind, let him be our dear brother; in the days of peace remember the proverb--when you are on friendly terms, settle your disputes in a friendly way--when you are at war, you must redress your injuries by violence.
It is better for us, oh, brothers, to be kind to other people; these are the ways by which men gain influence in the world--by labouring for abundance of food to feed others--by collecting property to give to others, and by similar means by which you promote the good of others, so that peace spreads through the world.
Let us take care that we are not like the children of Rangi-nui and of Papa-tu-a-nuku, who turned over in their minds thoughts for slaying their parents. Therefore let us be careful not to foster divisions amongst ourselves, lest such wicked thoughts should finally turn us each against the other, and thus we should be like the children of Rangi-nui and of Papa-tu-a-nuku.´
Two younger brothers, when they heard this, answered: ´Yes, yes, oh, eldest brothers of ours, you are quite right; let our murmuring end here.´