Goomblegubbon, Beeargah, and Ouyan, Australian Legendary Tale
GOOMBLEGUBBON the bustard, his two wives, Beeargah the hawk, and Ouyan
the curlew, with the two children of Beeargah, had their camps right
away in the bush; their only water supply was a small dungle, or gilguy
hole. The wives and children camped in one camp, and Goomblegubbon a
short distance off in another. One day the wives asked their husband to
lend them the dayoorl stone, that they might grind some doonburr to
make durrie. But he would not lend it to them, though they asked him
several times. They knew he did not want to use it himself, for they
saw his durrie on a piece of bark, between two fires, already cooking.
They determined to be revenged, so said:
"We will make some water bags of the opossum skins; we will fill
them with water, then some day when Goomblegubbon is out hunting we
will empty the dungle of water, take the children, and run away! When
he returns he will find his wives and children gone and the dungle
empty; then he will be sorry that he would not lend us the dayoorl."
"The wives soon caught some opossums, killed and skinned them,
plucked all the hair from the skins, saving it to roll into string to
make goomillahs, cleaned the skins of all flesh, sewed them up with the
sinews, leaving only the neck opening. When finished, they blew into
them, filled them with air, tied them up and left them to dry for a few
days. When they were dry and ready to be used, they chose a day when
Goomblegubbon was away, filled the water bags, emptied the dungle, and
started towards the river.
Having travelled for some time, they at length reached the river.
They saw two black fellows on the other side, who, when they saw the
runaway wives and the two children, swam over to them and asked whence
they had come and whither they were going.
"We are running away from our husband Goomblegubbon, who would lend
us no dayoorl to grind our doonburr on, and we ran away lest we and our
children should starve, for we could not live on meat alone. But
whither we are going we know not, except that it must be far away, lest
Goomblegubbon follow and kill us."
The black fellows said they wanted wives, and would each take one,
and both care for the children. The women agreed. The black fellows
swam back across the river, each taking a child first, and then a
woman, for as they came from the back country, where no creeks were,
the women could not swim.
Goomblegubbon came back from hunting, and, seeing no wives, called
aloud for them, but heard no answer. Then he went to their camp, and
found them not. Then turning towards the dungle he saw that it was
empty. Then he saw the tracks of his wives and children going towards
the river. Great was his anger, and vowing he would kill them when he
found them, he picked up his spears and followed their tracks, until he
too reached the river. There on the other side he saw a camp, and in it
he could see strange black fellows, his wives, and his children. He
called aloud for them to cross him over, for he too could not swim. But
the sun went down and still they did not answer. He camped where he was
that night, and in the morning he saw the camp opposite had been
deserted and set fire to; the country all round was burnt so that not
even the tracks of the black fellows and his wives could be found, even
had he been able to cross the river. And never again did he see or hear
of his wives or his children.
Mooregoo the Mopoke, and Bahloo the
MOOREGOO the Mopoke had been camped away by himself for a long time.
While alone he had made a great number of boomerangs, nullah-nullahs,
spears, neilahmans, and opossum rugs. Well had he carved the weapons
with the teeth of opossums, and brightly had he painted the inside of
the rugs with coloured designs, and strongly had he sewn them with the
sinews of opossums, threaded in the needle made of the little bone
taken from the leg of an emu. As Mooregoo looked at his work he was
proud of all he had done.
One night Babloo the moon came to his camp, and said: "Lend me one
of your opossum rugs."
"No. I lend not my rugs."
"Then give me one."
"No. I give not my rugs."
Looking round, Bahloo saw the beautifully carved weapons, so he
said, "Then give me, Mooregoo, some of your weapons."
"No, I give, never, what I have made, to another."
Again Bahloo said, "The night is cold. Lend me a rug. "
"I have spoken," said Mooregoo. " I never lend my rugs."
Barloo said no more, but went away, cut some bark and made a
dardurr for himself. When it was finished and he safely housed in it,
down came the rain in torrents. And it rained without ceasing until the
whole country was flooded. Mooregoo was drowned. His weapons floated
about and drifted apart, and his rugs rotted in the water.