The Haast Eagleís Back, And Her Name is Gloria

The Haast Eagleís Back, And Her Name is Gloria

Itís made of paper mache now!

If you think you’re good at paper mache: no you’re not. That’s unless your name is Maleah and you’re a third-year Gender Studies student. Critic Te Ārohi interviewed this paper mache whizz following a news tip in the form of a photograph depicting Maleah and her flatmates drinking a goon (they know us too well) under a life-sized paper mache pouākai (Haast eagle). The once-extinct mega-bird has had a comeback, all thanks to Maleah. 

Maleah’s tale began when “my flatmates and I were really high watching a prehistoric animal thing. We had a running joke about the eagle due to it being able to pick up children and stuff.” At the time, she joked about making the paper mache eagle to her flatmates, who essentially told her that there was no way that she could. “I made my dreams a reality in the face of a lot of disbelief,” Maleah explained. “Her name is Gloria.” 

Making the eagle itself was no easy feat. Maleah reported that it took around six months to bring the magnificent beast to life. “There’s no instruction manual for proper dimensions or anything like that. I had to Google a lot. I had to use a 30cm ruler to measure out the 2.5 metre wingspan.” Maleah also revealed to a blushing Critic that multiple pages of the magazine had been used to construct the feathers. We’re touched.

Cutting to the heart of the issue, Critic Te Ārohi asked how it felt to drink a goon under such a creation. Maleah replied, “I was at the point in the night where I was pretty drunk so I can’t quite remember, but it was majestic. The word awe could describe the feeling.” She described that she and her flat had an ‘Eagle Launch Party’ to celebrate the completion of the project, whereby multiple alcoholic beverages were consumed beneath the holy eagle.

Musing on her future in paper mache, Maleah said, “I want to make a moa. Or maybe an infant for Gloria to have.” She even said that if you give her enough notice, she might be able to make you a smaller animal for your enjoyment. She can even do piñatas. Asking for a friend, Critic Te Ārohi questioned if Gloria was available for hire: “Unfortunately not at this stage. She’s too big to move out of the door,” Maleah laughed. “I think when I move out I’m going to have to chop off her legs and reattach them.” Brutal.

This article first appeared in Issue 11, 2024.
Posted 4:45pm Saturday 11th May 2024 by Hanna Varrs.