Once, in the old, old times, a fountain gushed out of a hillside, in the land of Greece. And, for aught I know, after so many thousand years, it is still gushing out of the very selfsame spot. At any rate, there was the pleasant fountain, welling freshly forth and sparkling down the hillside, in the golden sunset, when a handsome young man named Bellerophon drew near its margin.
A myth is a traditional, typically ancient story dealing with supernatural beings, ancestors, or heroes that serves as a fundamental type in the worldview of a people. The purpose of myths is to account for the origins of something, explain aspects of the natural world, or delineate the psychology, customs, or ideals of society.
Deereeree, the willie wagtail bird, was a widow and lived in a camp alone with her four little girls. One day Bibbee the woodpecker came and made a camp not far from hers. Deereeree was frightened of him, too frightened to go to sleep. All night she used to watch his camp, and if she… Read More »Willie Wagtail and the Rainbow
At the beginning of winter, the iguanas hide themselves in their homes in the sand; the black eagle hawks go into their nests; the garbarlee or shingle-backs hide themselves in little logs, just big enough to hold them; the iguanas dig a long way into the sand and cover up the passage behind them, as they go along. They all stay in their winter homes until Mayrah blows the winter away.
In a time long past, so long past that even the grandmothers of our grandmothers were not yet born, the Caribs of Suriname say, the world was quite other than what it is today: the trees were forever in fruit; the animals lived in perfect harmony, and the little agouti played fearlessly with the beard of the jaguar; the serpents had no venom; the rivers flowed evenly, without drought or flood; and even the waters of cascades glided gently down from the high rocks.
Long years ago, the people of Chile were sadly at the mercy of the wild folk who lived under the sea. To be sure, there were long periods when they were left in peace to do their fishing, though from their canoes they could look down into the waters and see the under-sea people walking on the sands at the bottom, very shadowy and vague, though, in the greenish light. Still, it was clear enough, for those who watched, to see their hair-covered bodies, their long and serpent-like arms and their noseless faces.
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.
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 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
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.