dreamtimeSHELLY BEACH SNIPPETS No. 31.

Patricia Newell-Dunkley.

THE DREAMTIME

According to Aboriginal belief, all life as it is today – Human, Animal, Bird and Fish is part of one vast unchanging network of relationships which can be traced to the great spirit ancestors of the Dreamtime.

THE ORIGIN OF WATER

Once upon a time the land had no water, or so all the animals were led to believe, because the only way to get a drink or quench their thirst was to chew “Gulbirra”, kangaroo grass, or lick the dew from the leaves.

dreamtime2One day the short nosed bandicoot Gudjilla saw Bangarra the blue tongued lizard drying himself behind a rock, and when all the other animals heard this, they were very angry, and said to Bangarra “You must have some water hidden away!  Where have you hidden it?”

Bangarra would not tell because he wanted the water for himself.

The animals called a meeting and chose Gudjilla the bandicoot to follow Bangarra wherever he went. But Bangarra was very clever and could see Gudjilla out of the corner of his eye and never revealed where the water was hidden.

The animals called another meeting and chose Jiggirrjiggirr, the little willy wagtail because he was smaller than Gudjilla and could move a lot faster in case he had to hide when Bangarra looked around when he heard someone was following.  But when Jiggirrjiggirr did hide, he could not keep his black and white tail from flicking about. Bangarra still had the water hidden.

The animals did not know what to do. Bangarra was too smart. Then Gula, the rat, the smallest of all the animals said he could follow Bangarra but all the other animals laughed at him, and Midin, the ring tailed possum pushed his way in and told Gula that was too small and should not he heard.

dreamtime3Gula very hurt, went his own way and crept up very close behind Bangarra, the blue tongued lizard. Now when Bangarra thought someone was following, and looked to the left, Gula the little rat would jump to the right, and when Bangarra looked to the right, Gula would jump to the left, and so it was the little rat Gula followed the blue tongue lizard Bangarra to the spring that was hidden under a big flat rock, and when Bangarra lifted the rock to let the spring flow, Gula jumped out from hiding and frightened Bangarra away, and all the other animals praised Gula for what he had done.

The animals were so happy for all the running water bubbling from the spring, they all jumped in and began to splash water everywhere and the kingfisher was so glad, he swam to and fro, and with his beak made drains and gullies in front of the running water all the way down to the sea and that is how the small creeks and gullies were made to this very day.

The moral of this story:  He who is thought of least and of no account will be the greatest.

 

Reproduced with permission from Didjshop.com