Australian Legendary Tales/Dinewan the Emu, and Wahn the Crows

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Dinewan the Emu, and Wahn the Crows


Dinewan and his two wives, the Wahn, were camping out. Seeing some clouds gathering, they made a bark humpy. It came on to rain, and they all took shelter under it. Dinewan, when his wives were not looking, gave a kick against a piece of bark at one side of the humpy, knocked it down, then told his wives to go and put it up again. While they were outside putting it up, he gave a kick, and knocked down a piece on the other side; so no sooner were they in again than out they had to go. This he did time after time, until at last they suspected him, and decided that one of them would watch. The one who was watching saw Dinewan laugh to himself and go and knock down the bark they had just put up, chuckling at the thought of his wives having to go out in the wet and cold, to put it up, while he had his supper dry and comfortably inside. The one who saw him told the other, and they decided to teach him a lesson. So in they came, each with a piece of bark filled with hot coals. They went straight up to Dinewan, who was lying down laughing. "Now," they said, "you shall feel as hot as we did cold." And they threw the coals over him. Dinewan jumped up, crying aloud with the pain, for he was badly burnt. He rolled himself over, and ran into the rain; and his wives stayed inside, and laughed aloud at him.