an excerpt from the telesa book, books by lani young, environmental protection in Samoa, samoa blog, sleepless in samoa, telesa series, the covenant keeper, whales in Samoa

Meet the ‘Telesa’. Women of fury – don’t get them angry.

Meet the Telesa. Blessed with earth’s gifts of air, fire, water – they are her self-appointed protectors. Guardians of land, ocean and all earth’s creatures. And they get very angry when man is his usual environmentally-UNfriendly self…

An Excerpt from ‘Telesa – The Covenant Keeper.

The village cowered in the storm. The wood frames of the Samoan houses swayed alarmingly in the wind and the woven blinds were no match for the sleeting rain. People ran to take shelter in the more substantial buildings – the church, a school hall. They were too busy hiding from the storm to notice the telesa emerge from the forest.

Six women, dressed only in tapa cloth with their skin smeared with the paint of the mulberry. Long hair blowing wildly in the wind, tangled nets of fury. Heedless of the rain, they walked through the battered village and down to the beach where the mutilated carcasses lay. Two beached whales. A mother and her child. The stench of rotting flesh hung heavily in the air already. There was blood caked on the sand. Chunks of white flesh that had been hacked off, lay discarded on the rocks. These whales had found no kindness here at the hands of this village.

The women stopped. Sank to their knees. A wailing, keening grief. A chanted prayer to the heavens. And then rage. The leader summoned a lightning strike. It lit up the sky with a terrible beauty and then set the remains alight. The whales burned. The smell of charred flesh was a sickening thing. The leader turned. There was cold finality in her voice.“This village must be punished.”

They say lightning never strikes in the same place twice. That’s a lie.

The storm raged on. Screams filled the night.

Terror. Agony.

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