Skip to content

Folktales

How Night Came

How Night Came

Years and years ago, at the very beginning of time, when the world had just been made, there was no night. It was day all the time. No one had ever heard of sunrise or sunset, starlight or moonbeams. There were no night birds, nor night beasts, nor night flowers. There were no lengthening shadows, nor soft night air, heavy with perfume.

The Robber Bridegroom

There was once on a time a miller, who had a beautiful daughter, and as she was grown up, he wished that she was provided for, and well married. He thought, “If any good suitor comes and asks for her, I will give her to him.” Not long afterwards, a suitor came, who appeared to be very rich, and as the miller had no fault to find with him, he promised his daughter to him.

Morning Sunrise

Morning Sunrise

A man in one of the villages had a very beautiful daughter. She was so lovely that people called her “Morning Sunrise.” Every young man who saw her wanted to marry her. Three, in particular, were very anxious to have her for their wife. Her father found it difficult to decide among them. He determined to find out by a trick which of the three was most worthy of her.

The Squirrel and the Spider

The Squirrel and the Spider

A hard-working squirrel had, after much labor, succeeded in cultivating a very fine farm. Being a skilful climber of trees, he had not troubled to make a roadway into his farm. He used to reach it by the trees.

Anansi and Thunder

Thunder and Anansi

There had been a long and severe famine in the land where Anansi lived. He had been quite unable to obtain food for his poor wife and family. One day, gazing desperately out to sea, he saw, rising from the midst of the water, a tiny island with a tall palm-tree upon it. He determined to reach this tree—if any means proved possible—and climb it, in the hope of finding a few nuts to reward him. How to get there was the difficulty.

Weedah the Mocking Bird

Weedah the Mocking Bird

Weedah was playing a great trick on the people who lived near him. He had built himself a number of grass nyunnoos, more than twenty. He made fires before each, to make it look as if someone lived in the nyunnoos. First he would go into one nyunnoo and cry like a baby, then to another and laugh like a child, then in turn, as he went the round of the homes he would sing like a maiden, corrobboree like a man, call out in a quavering voice like an old man, and in a shrill voice like an old woman

The Emu and the Bustard

The Emu and the Bustard

Dinewan the emu, being the largest bird, was acknowledged as king by the other birds. The Goomblegubbons, the bustards, were jealous of the Dinewans. Particularly was Goomblegubbon, the mother, jealous of the Diriewan mother. She would watch with envy the high flight of the Dinewans, and their swift running.

The Galah and the Lizard

The Galah and the Lizard

Oolah the lizard was tired of lying in the sun, doing nothing. So he said, “I will go and play.” He took his boomerangs out and began to practice throwing them.

The Magic Cask

The Magic Cask

Once upon a time, there was a man who dug up a big, earthenware cask in his field. So, he took it home with him and told his wife to clean it out.

The Emerald Mountain

The Emerald Mountain

Long ago there lived a King who had an only son, by name Prince Bahrâmgor, who was as splendid as the noonday sun, and as beautiful as the midnight moon. Now one day the Prince went a-hunting, and he hunted to the north, but found no game; he hunted to the south, yet no quarry arose; he hunted to the east, and still found nothing. Then he turned towards the setting sun, when suddenly from a thicket flashed a golden deer.