Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/402

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Notes on the Aborigines of Roebuck Bay,

anything he used to give Willy-Willy-Wagtail's sister all the fat meat, and Willy-Willy-Wagtail all the skinny meat. Now he did not like that, so he looked around to see what he should do. He took a long sharp stick and stuck it into the ground, and covered it over with grass. Then he said to the stick, "When I tell you, you shake like a bandicoot" (a bandicoot is a kangaroo-rat). So he went and brought his uncle along with him, and told him he would show him a bandicoot's nest. As soon as he got to where the stick was the stick began to shake. His uncle was just going to throw his spear at it when Willy-Willy-Wagtail said, "No, you must not do that, you must jump on it." At last, after a lot of persuasion, the uncle jumped on it, and the stick stuck right through his foot. All the other blackfellows came along and tried to pull the stick out, but they could not move it, so they went and asked two big fellows, as big as a baobab-tree, to come and try. First they looked around for a big tree and rooted it up to show what they could do. They threw that aside and then they seized hold of the stick, which came out and shot right up into the sky, where it forms a streak of stars across the Milky Way. The blackfellows tried to kill Willy-Willy-Wagtail, but he escaped into the bush.

The Tale of the Emu.

There is a constellation [Willie Jones pointed it out to Mrs. Peggs] close by the Milky Way, which the black fellows call the Emu. Now a long time ago the Emu was a black fellow. He was a womba (warrior), and when he died he went into the sky, where he is an Emu, a big big fellow; and he holds two strings, which are joined to the earth to keep it balanced. If the strings were to break, or be cut, the sky would fall on to the earth, and every one would die.