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.
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.
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.
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.