emuPatricia Newell-Dunkley.


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 Dreamtime continues as the “Dreaming” in the spiritual lives of aboriginal people today. The events of the ancient era of creation are enacted in ceremonies and danced in mime form.   Song chant incessantly to the accompaniment of the didgeridoo or clap sticks relates the story of events of those early times and brings to the power of the dreaming to bear of life today.

Dinewan the Emu and Goomble-Gubbon the Plain Turkey.

emu2The Emu, being the largest bird, was acknowledged as king by other birds. The Turkeys were jealous of the Emus, particularly the Goomble-Gubbon, the mother of the Turkeys. She would watch with envy, the high flight of the Emus and their swift running.

Goomble-Gubbon used to wonder how she could put an end to the Emu’s supremacy. She knew she would gain nothing by having a quarrel with the Emu and fighting her, for no Goomble-Gubbon would stand any chance against a Dinewan.

One day when Goomble-Gubbon saw in the distance Dinewan coming towards her she squatted down and doubled in her wings in such a way as to look as if she had none. She tricked the Emus into cutting off their wings. HA HA HA laughed the Turkey, jumping up and down with joy and said “I have taken you in, old stumpy wings. I have my wings, yet you are so easily taken in, old stumpy wings”.

Brooding over her wrongs, the Emu walked away, vowing she would be revenged. At length, the Emu thought of a plan, and then she paraded past the Plain Turkey with her two young ones.

emu3Goomble-Gubbon asked her why she only had two children and the Emu replied. “It is too hard to find food for twelve children; it is easy to feed only two.” And straight away the plain turkey killed all but two of her children. “You cruel mother to kill your children, you greedy mother, why I have twelve children and I find food for all of them. I tricked you into doing that because you tricked me into cutting off my wings.”   And ever since that time, Emu has had no wings and the Plain Turkey has only laid two eggs in one season.


Reproduced with permission from Didjshop.com