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The Rainbow Valley Dreamtime Story

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.

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