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Shh, Or They'll Steal Your Voice

Joel, Auckland, New Zealand
February 2011

At times, I often remember my grandmother (and she still does) telling me not to whistle at night. But I had always whistled until I recently visited my grandmother's home country (Samoa). Same rule applied there, don't whistle at night, or else...

During my time at Samoa, I stayed with her older sister who lectured about my disrespect towards hers and my grandmother's culture (Of course I didn't mean any harm, I just wasn't used to the stuff there). She too warned me about the whistling thing, but seeing as she had bad English, I blew it off.

One night, she asked me to sweep around the house during the night time. Although I was a bit puzzled (cleaning at that time of night) I didn't want to upset her or else another boring lecture was headed my way.

Anyways, I swept the rubbish around the house (while whistling) , I had just about finished when I heard whistling coming from the next house to the left. Thinking it was a small child, I decided to play along. I whistled and the strange "child" mimicked back my whistling.

My grand-aunt told me to get inside and stop whistling - this was when I realized the consequence of whistling at night. A black figure appeared in front of me and somehow stole my voice, I tired screaming but nothing came out until my grand-aunt cussed at the black figure. It then disappeared and I regained my voice.

I laughed as my grand-aunt gave me the biggest "I told you so" look when i glanced over to the house to the left with the small child that had never been there. Now I know not to whistle at unnecessary times of the night.

Joel, Auckland, New Zealand
00:00 / 01:04
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