Those who know this is an antipodean blog may wonder why I, a right-side-upian, post here roughly once a year. Truth be told, I am an international observer sent here on a mission of discovery to learn and report back on the mysteries of upside-downia. This is why I am usually to be found in the pub, I am OBSERVING real people in their natural environment. Horizontally observing, but that doesn’t signify anything but being overcome by the weight of responsibility.
Anyhoo, I have a mystery to report! At this festive time of year, Kiwis not only celebrate Christmas, they also have their own native holiday, the Hucking of the Ewes. The main festivity is placing a ewe in a trebuchet and launching it for distance, or at least so I surmise from observed behavior as the actual event is apparently a closed affair. People share the joy by greeting each other with a hearty “huck ewe!” and a traditional hand gesture, either a salute with the single middle finger jauntily raised or with the middle and index raised, spread apart in a V. Occasionally people so greeting one another are so overcome with holiday spirit, they embrace each other ardently, often so much so that they fall to the ground locked in each others’ arms, rolling about madly with each attempting to outdo the other with cheerful wishes for the person and even the entire family of the other; a common claim is that one’s friend is so fine a hucksman as to be considered a “Mother Hucker,” high praise indeed as pregnant ewes are much heavier and thus harder to huck well or far.
To bring the holiday spirit to you, dear reader, here is a model trebuchet to build and here a small sheep pattern to make and then you can join the fun and huck yourselves, too!