Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/401

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361
Western Australia.

up the challenge, had to stick his spear into it as an earnest that he would be willing to renew the combat. If he refused he was a coward. The prospecting party, of which Mr. Barclay was one, out from here to Beagle Bay, went over ground that had not been visited by white men (so far as is known) since 1861, and in all their travels they only came across one mark of the former party cut on a tree. The natives in the parts he had visited are known to be very bad cannibals; but strangely enough they did not come across any on their travels; and only just before embarking on their return trip did they see five in a dugout canoe, which on seeing the whites they promptly overturned and swam for one of the islets near by.

All the natives here are very alarmed just now. They are afraid of a willy-willy, and many have cleared away from town to the bush. They say the only way to save themselves when a willy-willy comes is to tie themselves up to a big tree to prevent being blown away. It is ten years now since one struck Broome.


[The following are some tales which were told to Mrs. Peggs on the voyage from Roebuck Bay to Singapore by a little boy named Willie Jones, who was proceeding to Singapore for his education, and joined the boat at Derby. He had had only Binghi children for playfellows since he was four years old, and could speak their language well. The tales are written as closely as possible in the words in which they were told. They were read to him after having been written down.—C. J. T.]


The Tale of Willy-Willy-Wagtail.

The Willy-Willy-Wagtail is a curious bird. A long time ago he was a blackfellow; he had a sister and an uncle. The uncle used to go hunting, and when he killed