This is a wonderful Kiwi short story I read over the Christmas break. Darwin visited Paihia and Waimate in his voyage aboard the Beagle. This lively tale shows a schoolboy’s perspective of evolution and history.
“At Waimate there are three large houses, where the missionary gentlemen, Messrs. Williams, Davies, and Clarke, reside; and near them are the huts of the native labourers … I cannot attempt to describe all I saw; there were large gardens, with every fruit and vegetable which England produces; and many belonging to a warmer clime.” — Charles Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle, December 1835
They were only schoolteachers – and not very well-paid ones. Dad was never made head of the school’s science department because he was “too bolshie” and Mum could only teach part-time because she had to be there when I arrived home from primary school. But despite their modest incomes, they insisted we had a full three-week camping holiday every year …