Kipa & Uldanami / The Lovers / The Parrot & The Marlin


Kipa had been in love for many years with a beautiful young woman named Uldanami.   But she did not return his love.   In fact she rejected all the advances of all the young men who chased her.

To save her constantly refusing the young men, her uncle who was an elder of the tribe, turned her into a goanna.

Kipa was angry at her rejection.   When he found that Uldanami had been changed into a goanna but would resort to human form once she took a lover, Kipa chased every goanna and proposed marriage to it.

His tribe cast him out as they said he had lost his reason.   But Uldanami, though bright eyed, had loose scaly skin that didn’t attract any other lovers because they didn’t know of the spell and so Uldanami lived as a goanna forever.


 Willumbea was a young woman who spent her days searching for food, looking after her elderly mother and day-dreaming about the day she would marry her boyfriend whom she’d known from birth.

 But one day, her boyfriend was also day-dreaming of his coming marriage instead of concentrating on keeping an eye out for crocodiles while he speared fish.

A big old-man crocodile leaped from the water, grabbed the young man and dragged him into the depths of the pool.   He was never seen again.

 Willumbea cried for weeks for her lost love.   Each day she stood in the water where her boyfriend vanished, hoping she, too, would be taken by the crocodile so she could join her boyfriend.   But the crocodile never came.

 Willumbea has since turned into stone and can be seen standing where she has stood down through the years..


Paint The Parrot and the Marlin

 Kali was a fisherman who fished from his big bent-bark canoe.   Mainly he fished close to shore, catching gleaming,. coloured Coral Trout, Red Emperor and other delicacies.   He knew the fish by other names as well as knowing their history and association with the gods.

 Kali had a parrot for a friend, who sat on his shoulder and came fishing with him.   The parrot’s name was Wanbi and even though he never missed a fishing trip, he seemed little interested in the fish or the activity of spearing them when they came close to the surface.

That is, until one day a giant Marlin flew out of the sparkling water and flashed across the blue sky, its scales flashing a brilliant light from their mirrored surface.

 Wanbi’s bright, round eyes flew wide open in admiration.   Even the rainbow-hued Parrot Fish which Kali speared didn’t excite Wanbi like the sail fish did.

 Wanbi flew after the sail fish, but the fish had exhausted its flight and smoothly sliced back into the water as Kali flung his barbed spear after it.   The spear flew through the air and pierced Wanbi’s heart as he swept after the sail fish.

 Kali cried in anguish as Wanbi fell, fluttering, into the waves, dead.

 Every day Kali still went out fishing.   And every day he cried for his lost friend,

Wanbi the brightly coloured parrot.

 One day as Kali stood patiently in his canoe with his spear at the ready, a fish burst from the water only meters from the bow.   The fish sailed across the canoe, its scales flashing a kaleidoscope  of brilliant colours.   Kali recognised them as the same combination of colours as the feathers of his friend, Wanbi.   Kali hesitated then, before he could throw his spear, the flashing colours blinded him.   By the time he could see again the fish had plunged back into the water.

 Kali never fished again, but paddled out to the spot where the sail fish leaped from the water, to fish its brilliant colours.

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