Australian Legendary Tales
(1896) collected and translated by K. Langloh Parker
This book is a collection of stories told to K. Langloh Parker by Aboriginal people of Australia. The volume includes over 30 tales, along with a glossary and the first tale transliterated from the original language. Stories are set in a 'no-time' where animal spirits, supernatural beings, and humans interact, often alluding to ideas of creation. The book was immediately popular, being revised or reissued several times since, and is notable as the first substantial representation of the Australian Aboriginal belief system to the rest of the world.
Dinewan the emu, being the largest bird, was acknowledged as king by the other birds. The Goomblegubbons, the bustards, were jealous of the Dinewans. Particularly was Goomblegubbon, the mother, jealous of the Dinewan mother. She would watch with envy the high flight of the Dinewans, and their swift running. And she always fancied that the Dinewan mother flaunted her superiority in her face, for whenever Dinewan alighted near Goomblegubbon, after a long, high flight, she would flap her big wings and begin booing in her pride, not the loud booing of the male bird, but a little, triumphant, satisfied booing noise of her own, which never failed to irritate Goomblegubbon when she heard it.
Goomblegubbon used to wonder how she could put an end to Dinewan's supremacy. She decided that she would only be able to do so by injuring her wings and checking her power of flight. But the question that troubled her was how to effect this end. She knew she would gain nothing by having a quarrel with Dinewan and fighting her, for no Goomblegubbon would stand any chance against a Dinewan. There was evidently nothing to be gained by an open fight. She would have to effect her end by cunning.
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