The Whale's Awakening

Long before there were men or animals in Australia, the only living things that had eyes to see the vast continent were the flocks of migratory birds. When they returned to their homeland they told the animals of the endless plains, the tree covered mountains, the wide long rivers and the abundant vegetation of this delectable land. This created such excitement, so they all gathered from near and far and held a corroboree after which it was decided that they would all go to this new place to live.

The problem was that the only vessel that was strong enough to hold them all at once was the one that belonged to the Whale and he would not lend his canoe to the animals. The animals decided to take the Whale's canoe by force and enlisted the help of Starfish, the Whale's closest friend, to divert Whale's attention from his canoe.

When the sun was low, Whale woke up and noticed that his canoe was gone. He turned fiercely on Starfish and attacked him. His descendants hide amongst the rocks as Starfish did but their bodies still bear the marks that Whale inflicted on their ancestor the day the animals came to Australia.

After several days and nights, the animals reached their land of promise and jumped ashore. Brolga broke up the canoe and sank it under the waves turning it to stone so that Whale could not find them.

Whale swam up and down the coast searching for his canoe but could never find it. To this day, Whale's descendants still search for their ancestor's canoe as they swim up and down the coast of Australia each year.

Michael J Connolly
Munda-gutta Kulliwari
© Dreamtime Kullilla-Art