Dinewan The Emu


Dinewan the emu, being the largest bird, was acknowledged as king by the other birds. Goomble-gubbon the turkey was jealous of Dinewan and would envy the high flight and swift running of Dinewan and this flaunting of his superiority never failed to iritate Goomble-gubbon. Goomble-gubbon decided he would put an end to Dinewan's supremacy. One day Goomble-gubbon saw Dinewan coming towards him so he squatted down and doubled up his wings in such a way as to look as if he had no wings. Goomble-gubbon then proceeded to convince Dinewan that the other birds would think that Goomble-gubbon was the cleverest bird when they see what he could do without his wings and would make Goomble-gubbon king. This troubled Dinewan and went away to discuss this with his mate. They made up their minds that the Goomble-gubbons should never be allowed to reign in their stead and decided they would loose their wings to save their kingship and cut off their wings with a kumbu [stone tomahawk]. Dinewan ran swiftly down to the plains to show Goomble-gubbon how he had cut off his wings and was now just like him. But Goomble-gubbon only laughed, jumped up and danced around with joy at the success of his plot. He spread his wings out and flapped them and told Dinewan that the birds would surely now make him king as they would not want a king that had no wings and that was easily taken in. Dinewan tried to catch Goomble-gubbon to chastise him for his treachery but Goomble-gubbon flew away and alas, the wingless Dinewan could not catch him. Dinewan vowed revenge on Goomble-gubbon.

One day Dinewan and his mate were out walking with their many young ones when Dinewan spotted Goomble-gubbon and his mate on the plain feeding their twelve young ones. Dinewan then thought of a plan to get back at Goomble-gubbon. The Dinewans hid but 2 of their young under a salt-bush and walked off to find the Goomble-gubbons. Dinewan greeted Goomble-gubbon friendly and then proceeded to convince Goomble-gubbon that it would be better if Goomble-gubbons only have 2 children like the Dinewans as twelve are too many to feed and they will never grow big birds like the Dinewans. The food that would make big birds of two would only starve twelve.

The Goomble-gubbons walked away discontentedly as it was impossible to deny that the young dinewans were much bigger then their young which once more made Goomble-gubbon mad with envy of Dinewan. Determined not to allow Dinewan to be king of the birds of the plains again the Goomble-gubbons killed all but two of their young ones. Straightaway the Goomble-gubbons came back to where the Dinewans were still feeding and told the Dinewans that they too now only have 2 children like them. Their young ones will now have plenty to eat and will grow as big as their young ones and will have wings unlike their children. Dinewan ran off to the salt bush and fetched all his young ones and brought them back to where Goomble-gubbon was. The Goomble-gubbons then saw that they had been tricked and as they gazed upon the Dinewans twelve young ones they thought of their poor murdered children.

Ever since that time because of their trickery and deceit, Dinewan's decendants [the emu] has had no wings and Goomble-gubbon's decendants [the turkey of the plains] has laid only two eggs in a season.

Michael J Connolly
Munda-gutta Kulliwari
Dreamtime Kullilla-Art