By Anita Radcliffe, 12 February 2019
A traditional story from the Tararua region.
Once upon a time at a road end far far away, there were three little glow worms. There names were Go Worm, Slow Worm and Woah Worm. One evening they set off from the mighty Holdsworth car park and zoomed to the hut of Atiwhakatu in just over an hour, leaving skid marks in the gravel as they went. They cast their eyes upwards following the shiny markers heading towards the mountain of Jumbo, and set on up the hill. Go Worm got the goes and zipped up to Jumbo mansion. Slow Worm and Woah Worm trudged up behind and got there half an hour later. They contemplated continuing to the next hut, but were enticed to bed by the idea of fluffy sleeping bags.
The next day they awoke outrageously early and made many coffees. When well-caffeinated, they hooned over the tops, pausing only to lick the sign at the top. Far down by the bush the three glow worms spied a tiny orange dot, and went down to investigate. Go Worm trotted down, imagining himself shredding the brown pow on his mountain bike. Slow Worm took her time and tried not to hurt her knees.
When they reached the orange dot, they discovered that it was the Bivouac of McGregor. So they got some rainwater from the dripping tap, and proceeded to make more coffee.
Eventually they got the zoomies again and set off back to the tops. They trudged along at a cracking pace until they were halted by daunting spikes where the tops became pinnacles. Cautiously they inched along, until the reached a sheer cliff, where they used their fingernails to downclimb the slippery slope. Slow Worm was quite terrified, so Woah Worm climbed ahead and helped her very patiently find every foothold and not fall to her death. Go Worm lost his Go, and followed very very carefully behind them.
Eventually they reached the bottom, where they had licorice logs to bring back their bravery. Revitalised, they set off into the mist, climbing higher and higher.
Woah Worm checked the internets for trudge beta, and found that the route was in fact shown by a sign. The three little glow worms slipped their way down the spur through the deep tussock and leatherwood, until they could see another orange dot nestled in the trees below. Fear struck their hearts, as there was a thick forest of tough leatherwood between them and the dot. Fortunately there was a path of sorts down the spur, which ended in the forest, where they found…..
….orange triangles! The glorious triangles guided the three glow worms through the forest to the Mid King palace, where they sat on a throne and drank more coffee. Lunch was also consumed to maintain enthusiasm.
Reluctantly, the three little glow worms set off down the spur, following and the losing the unmarked trail many times. They consumed sweets and felt sleepy, but they trudged downwards, hoping they could make it home before midnight.
Finally they reached the bottom, where Go Worm did a psychoanalysis on Woah Worm and Slow Worm. They were not found to be insane, so relief was felt by all. The three little worms battled around fallen trees on steep terrain, until they reached the Flat of Mitre, where they scoffed beans and told tall stories to the occupants.
Full of beans, they set off with new-found energy, striding up the hill towards the saddle. They got to the saddle at dark, where the clouds decided it was time to rain. Go Worm zoomed off into the dark, and Slow Worm hobbled down the hill, with painful knees. The rain got stronger, and washed off all stoke and enthusiasm, which was wearing thin after 15 hours of walking. Wearily they reached Atiwhakatu hut, where they gave up any remaining dreams of home, ate sticky caramel puddings, and went to bed.
The next day they awoke fresh and energetic, telling further tall stories to the fellow occupants, and setting off towards the car park. Even Slow Worm was fast! They found a cafe in Greytown and feasted on overpriced coffee and brunch, then went back to Wellington and lived happily ever after.
Woah Worm - Robert Laurenson - Trip leader
Slow Worm - Anita Radcliffe - Baird
Go Worm - Doug Wright - Cyclist