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Legends

A legend is a traditional tale handed down from earlier times and believed to have an historical basis.

Wirreenun the Rainmaker

Wirreenun the Rainmaker

The country was stricken with a drought. The rivers were all dry except the deepest holes in them. The grass was dead, and even the trees were dying. The young men of the Noongahburrah murmured among themselves, at first secretly, at last openly, saying: “Did not our fathers always say that the Wirreenun could make, as we wanted it, the rain to fall? Yet look at our country—the grass blown away, no doonburr seed to grind, the kangaroo are dying, and the emu, the duck, and the swan have flown to far countries.

The Bunyip

The Bunyip

In the years before history-the Alcheringa-before the river Murray was made and only a depression existed, a Bunyip visited the place. He came just at nightfall, and he sat on the bank opposite the camp. He was the color of the gumtree that afforded him shelter and something to lean against.

Why Monkey Still has a Tail

Why Monkey Still Has a Tail

Once upon a time the monkey and the rabbit made a contract. The monkey was to kill all the butterflies and the rabbit was to kill all the snakes. One day the rabbit was taking a nap when the monkey passed that way. The monkey thought that he would play a trick on the rabbit, so he pulled the rabbit’s ears, pretending that he thought they were butterflies. The rabbit awoke very angry at the monkey, and he plotted how he might revenge himself on the monkey.

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.

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.

The Emperor’s Wooing

The little town of Caub is very old. Above it in olden days rose the Castle of Gutenfels. Here many years ago lived Philip, Count of Faulkenstein and his only sister, Guda. This brother and sister were orphans, and lived together there happily.

Bird of Paradise

There once lived in the monastery at Heisterbach a kindly monk, of great learning and simple manners. He had studied for many years that he might settle some doubts that troubled him. He had observed that people grow tired of even the best of things. They desire to behold new scenes, to hear new music, and to taste new dishes.

Pot of Hot Porridge

In the beautiful land of Switzerland is a little town named Zurich. Not far from here is the larger city of Strasburg. The people of Zurich had long looked with envy on the larger city and wanted to become a part of it. At last they decided to send an appeal to the magistrates. This they did, but the great magistrate of Strasburg bluntly refused the honor of such a union.

The Lady of Stavoren

There was once, we are told, a fine tract of land where now roll the waves of the Zuyder Zee. On the very spot where now the fishermen anchor their boats and fish, there stood a beautiful city. It was protected from the sea by great dykes.