The Emu and the Tree / The Willy-Wagtail / The Kangaroo


The emu and the tree were in love, but could only meet when the moon was bright enough for them to see each other.

The tree was the spirit of a warrior of his people who was murdered by men from another tribe who wanted his people’s hunting grounds.

The emu was the spirit of Jedda, a young girl who died when she drank water poisoned by the young warrior’s people in retribution for his murder.


Not all aborigines of the Dreamtime were frightened of the mischievous willy-wagtail.   Some laughed at its antics.

Others called it the ‘messenger of death’.

But the people of the northern coast thought of the willy-wagtail as a liar and a telltale.

You see, they believed the willy-wagtail whispered men’s secrets to the women of their tribe.

The elders, for instance, wouldn’t talk about important issues if a willy-wagtail was anywhere near.    Nevertheless, no aborigine would ever kill a willy-wagtail as they believed that the killed bird’s relatives would cause a great storm to rage over the earth, destroying all animals and people.


Paint Blown RooThe ancient Australian aborigines believed that the kangaroo was blown to Australia by fierce winds.

As they flew through the air they stretched their long legs downwards hoping to make contact with the earth.

Eventually the strong winds blew themselves out and the kangaroos fell to the ground.

After a spell the winds sprang up again and swept the kangaroos up into the air once more.

Then the winds lulled so the kangaroos could stretch down their legs to touch the ground again, which gave the hunters the chance to catch them for food.

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