13th March 2018

Wild Pork and Watercress

written in 1986, wild pork and watercress, by Barry Crump, is the story of Ricky Baker. Ricky in 12 years and 3 weeks old and a quarter Maori. Told in first person narrative, Ricky tells his story with humor. Ricky is a victim of racism and the New Zealand social welfare system. He continues to run away from authority and tells us he is treated differently because of his dark skin. We learn that Ricky is misunderstood, people are too quick to make assumptions about him. Ricky is actually very clever, and a very fast learner. Ricky is finally sent to live with his aunt Bella and uncle Hec on a run-down farm by a river far inland from Gisborne. ‘The Faulkners’ farm was up a valley beside a river called the Apopa, and everything about the place was old and falling to bits. Aunt Bella is loving and accepting, she treats Ricky like her own son. Uncle Hec is a man of few words who can be grumpy. ‘He can talk but not wall the walk’= he is a lazy farmer.

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