Written in 1986 , wild pork and watercress , by Barry Crump , is the story of Ricky Baker. Ricky is 12 years and 3 weeks old , a quarter Maori boy.
Told in first person narrative , ricky tells his story with humour.
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 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 Apopo , 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 the talk but not walk the walk” = he is a lazy farmer.
The story is told in the first person point of view , of young Ricky Baker. This gives us the perspective of a young Maori boy , with his unique intellect one sense of humour and quick wit.
Crump uses idioms such as “shoving more in” , “stuck me in” , “keeping head down” , “busted in on us” , colloquial language “the wrong sort of stuff ”
Informal , chatty style
Simple sentences ” the bloke was lying”
Nz vocabulary used place names chucks manuka
Aunt bella call Ricky “lamb” when hes naughty “scallywag”