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A Waiheke Island Myth Part 1 On Waiheke Island, New Zealand, a myth has grown up among a handful of people in the Rocky Bay Village th...

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Friday, 14 March 2008


Once upon a time there was a man called Mr Small. He and his family lived on a small, beautiful property and were very happy.

But one day they got a new neighbour, Mr Big, who turned out to be the neighbour from hell. He was bossiness on steroids, he had loud disgusting habits, he was all money and no taste, and he treated Mr Small and his family like dirt. He made their lives a misery.

One day he called in the bricklayers and had them build a wall between the two properties. It was of course a very high wall, and it completely ruined Mr Small's place. All he could see now was bricks.

He was so overcome with grief that he took to sitting at the foot of the wall and bashing his head against it. Day and night, even in his sleep, he bashed and bashed. His family feared for him, but he refused to stop. Bash, bash, bash, on and on and on.

One day a stranger came along, saw him, and took pity on him.

'Why are you bashing your head against that brick wall?' he asked.

'I have to use my head, because I don't have anything else,' said Mr Small. 'I know it's not much use, but at least I'm trying, and there's nothing else I can do. Or that anyone can do.'

'Oh, really?' said the stranger, and whipped out a sledgehammer. In nothing flat he knocked the wall and Mr Big to pieces and chucked them into the sea.

Was Mr Small happy?

Strangely, no. He turned on the stranger, he screamed and shouted at him, he cursed him, he told him he was a pestiferous interfering creep who should be boiled in oil over a slow fire then picked apart by killer ants.

The stranger stared at him in disbelief. Then it dawned on him. Mr Small had got so used to bashing his head against the brick wall that he couldn't imagine life without it. In fact he'd been bashing so long and so hard that he'd forgotten he was Mr Small. He now thought of himself as Mr Bash.

Fortunately, after a time he came back to himself. But it was a close run thing. At one stage his friends and family thought he was a goner. He took to drink and habitually became so sozzled that he was forever getting lost in his own garden. One night it took all three emergency services to find him.