A DREAMTIME STORY OF THE YUIN PEOPLE OF WALLAGA LAKE.
Long ago, when the world was new, there were many birds and…
There were many animals on the earth.
The birds and animals spent most of their time fighting one another. Bangu the Flying Fox couldn’t make up her mind if she was a bird or an animal.
Bangu the Flying Fox liked to be on the winning side all the time. When she went out to play with the animals and they got into a fight with the birds, Bangu would change to the birds’ side if they were winning.
If she was with the birds and the animals were winning, she’d change to the animal’s side.
One day the birds and animals became really sick of this and had a big meeting. They were fed up with Bangu pretending to be one of them and changing sides. They called her over and told her off… And, just to get the message across, they gave her a good hiding to go along with.
They said. “Go away. You are not a bird, you are not animal, and we don’t want to play with you again.”
So Bangu crept away, and that’s why you only see her come out at night and fly around by herself.
IF YOU FIND FRIENDS, STICK TO THEM. HELP THEM WHEN THINGS ARE GOOD AND BAD.
Because if you keep changing sides and letting your mob down, you’ll end up as lonely as…
BANGU THE FLYING FOX.
When the dreaming had just begun, Baimai had made all the animals for the earth. The animals had no coats and were all lined up waiting for Baimai for there turn at receiving something special. Kootear the echidna was lazy and was only interested in eating ants. He was not bothered with what was happening to the other animals.
All the animals chose beautiful coats or feathers to protect them and make them all look beautiful.
Butaeen the snake chose a beautiful skin to make himself look special.
Kula the Koala choose a beautiful fur to make himself look special.
Barebare the Emu choose beautiful feathers to make himself look special.
Wollombawn the Kangaroo choose a beautiful fur to make himself look special.
Kookundi the Kookaburra choose beautiful feathers to make himself look special.
Bangu the Possum choose beautiful fur to make himself look special.
All the animals did indeed look special and beautiful. They all looked at themselves and each other and were very proud of themselves.
They all thanked Baimai for there beautiful coats and feathers.
Baimai noticed Kootear the Echidna was missing and called out to him. Kootear was busy foraging for the ants and looked up to see all the animals with their beautiful coats.
He came to Baimai and asked him for a beautiful coat of feathers.
Baimai had no feathers or fur left. He looked around and saw tiny sticks lying around and stuck them on Kootear. The animals laughed and laughed to see Kootear with his sticks sticking out of his back.
Kootear looked sadly at himself in Deerubbin the river.
Baimai said, “Kootear you have been lazy and did not do as I asked of you, now you must wear these sticks and remember never to be lazy again or you might miss out on something good.”
Told in rhyme, this is the story of Mr. Bear, his best apple tree and some naughty bees. The bees like to steal Mr. Bear’s apples right off the tree, so Mr. Bear decides to guard them. This plan doesn’t work too well as, one after another, his apples disappear!
Mr. Bear counts the apples on his tree as some hungry bees eat them, one by one. Poor Mr. Bear is losing his apples But how can the bees be stealing them with Mr. Bear standing guard?
It was a sunny day in the Australian bush and a happy place indeed for the many animals that lived there. There was a lot of activity and the animals were playing and having fun.
Koala was still sleepy because he had just woken up from a nap. Kangaroo was having a drink from the stream were Platypus was swimming and splashing around. Emu was talking to Wombat about something exciting that had happened to her that day. They were all very busy. No- one saw the little animal sitting alone under a small tree. He sat there quietly watching the other animals play and run around. The little animal had a long, black tail with a white tip. His fur was mostly bluish- grey and he had a white belly.
But it was his ears that stood out the most. They were rather long and looked a little bit like rabbits’ ears. Suddenly the laughter and noise stopped. The other animals had noticed the little creature and wandered over to where sat under a tree.
“Who are you” said the Kangaroo. “What are you doing here in our bush?”
The little animal was frightened but answered in a soft voice “My name is Bilby.”
“Bilby!” exclaimed the other animals.
“Why have you come here?” Platypus asked anxiously. I’m looking for a home”, said Bilby. “I usually sleep during the day but I haven’t got many family left now so I need to find somewhere to live.” “Well I live on the plains. It’s where I hop and jump around,” Kangaroo said rather impatiently. “I suits me because I have very strong legs and I need lots of room to go about my business.” He pointed towards the plains and said, “That’s my home and it’s no place for a Bilby.” “My home is along that fence,” said Emu, pointing her leg. “I run very fast and I need to stretch my long legs so the fence line is the place for me. Sometime I run with the other emus and we don’t always see small animals in our way.” In a very huffy manner she added,” You can see it’s no place for a Bilby.” Koala looked at Bilby with a sympathetic look in his eyes. “You see that gum tree with all the leaves on it? I live there,” he said, pointing to the tree. “I eat the eucalyptus leaves and it is a safe home for me. But it is no place for a Bilby,” he said sadly.
Wombat stood up and pointed to his burrow at the base of a large tree. “That’s my home, “he said. “ It’s where I go and spend time by myself.” As he ambled towards his borrow, he called out in a gruff voice, “And I’m telling you now, it’s no place for a Bilby!” Finally Platypus said,” I live in the stream. It’s a cool place where I swim and build nests from weeds and sticks with my long, flat, beak- like nose.” With a flap of his tail, he looked at Bilby and said,” I already share my stream with fish so it’s no place for a Bilby.” After listening to the animals, Bilby hung his head and began to move away. A small tear ran down his cheek and his long ears hung down in a rather sad way. The other animals huddled around. They felt sorry for the little Bilby and after a short talk came up with an idea. “Wait!” yelled Koala.” We may have a home for you after all, if you’re interested.” Bilby turned around. “Where?” he asked excitedly.” Where do you think I can make my home?” Kangaroo pointed to a small shrub. “Over there, behind that shrub,” he told Bilby. Bilby went over to the shrub and pulled it aside. There before him lay a pile of dirt. With his claws, he began to dig and before long he had carved out a splendid borrow. He even found some insects and seeds to eat. It was perfect. At last he found a new home and new friends. Just the right place for a Bilby!
In the Dreamtime there was a place called Rainbow Valley. It was a special place that Baiame, the Great Spirit, had set aside to allow animals threatened with extinction by over-hunting to recover. Therefore it was forbidden to hunt such animals, and most of the tribal elders knew of this and abided by Baiame’s law.
However, there were some tribes who had not learned this law. Thus when they accidentally discovered Rainbow Valley and saw the healthy animals grazing peacefully, they immediately made there separate camps and prepared for a great communal hunt. Although the animals were aware of the hunters, they made no attempt at flight, and, apart from a casual glance in there direction, continued to graze peacefully. This was going to be a great hunt indeed, the hunters thought, but they were unaware that the Great Spirit was watching them. Baiame knew of course, that these men hunted through ignorance of his law. However, he was angry that the tribal elders had either not taught the law, or the young hunters had not paid attention. Therefore, he would not punish them in a manner that such a violation would normally deserve.
The animals were quite safe because the Great Spirit had arranged it so that nothing could enter the forbidden Valley other than that which he himself allowed. However, the hunters in their ignorance were still bound to make an attempt to hunt them. That being so. Baiame decided to have a little fun and teach them a lesson at the same time.
Stealthily the hunters circled the valley and made an attempt to approach the animals. Then the strangest thing occurred. They found themselves going over the same ground that they had previously occupied. There tracks criss-crossed several times, always leading to the exact spot from which they had commenced their hunt.
Further failed attempts caused the hunters to come together to discuss the strange situation. After a great deal of discussion, it became apparent that none of them had any idea of what was happening to them, or why they kept returning to the same spot.
They were all experienced hunters, so there had to be more to this than there minds could fathom. Finally, it was decided that the animals were being protected by the spirits. In which case, there was nothing for it but to leave that place as quickly as possible and never return.
Aboriginal Dreamtime stories are a learning pathway to build our cultural
competencies by increasing our knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal Australia. Creation or dreamtime stories often explain how the country, animals and people came to be as they are. They tell us when things were made, why they were made and how they were made.
Once upon a time, a long, long time ago in the Dream Time there was a greedy frog called Tiddalick. Tiddalick wanted to be the biggest frog in all the land………