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This work has reached the exceptional level
How the dolphins came to be.
Stories of the Dreamtime
Dolphin Dreaming. by Aussie
 Category:  Young Adult Fiction
  Posted: December 19, 2013      Views: 544
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Aussie is a wheel - chair person with a passion for poems and short stories about Australia. She likes to express herself through both mediums. She is an an artist who likes to paint in all mediums. Writing has become an outlet for her as she is ext - more...

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Each chapter is complete in itself.

The Morawa tribe lived on the banks of the Warrawee River - the river was just a trickle as drought seized the land and squeezed every drop of water from the river and the billabongs.

Three children, two boys and one girl, were anxiously waiting for the tribal elders to make a decision whether to stay beside the dwindling river or move to the coastal plains.

The koolyangara (children) - Twee, Barcoo, and Marcoola, were great friends that played together in the sparkling waters of the camp billabong. The drought had sucked the waters from their swimming hole and the children were restless and wanting to move to a wet area away from the drought-stricken plains of the inland.

The tribal elder known as Mulloway stood tall on a sandstone rock above the Morawa camp. At night the crackling fire lit the hopeful faces of the tribe as they sat and waited for Mulloway to speak about the current situation. Drought was killing the animals that the tribe relied on for food. The women dug the barren ground for yams (sweet potato) and fallen tree trunks bore fat white grubs called Witchetty grubs - a delicacy eaten live or roasted on the coals of the fires. These were meagre offerings to feed the people. The situation was growing desperate.

Mulloway raised his arms in the fire light - he called to his people to listen to his words.
"I have made a decision about our future, to stay here is to face certain death. Even if the rains come now, we will not survive without the animals and clean water. It is my decision to break camp and move to the coastal plains where there is abundant water and food. Tomorrow the long walk begins."

Bursting with excitement, the three Koolyangara (children) couldn't sleep that night, they talked about the coast and the sea that they had never seen but had heard about in the dreamtime stories. Being an inland tribe they had no knowledge of the coastline and the animals that lived there. Mulloway had spent some of his youth on the coast and was able to describe the lifestyle to his people.

"I was a young man when I fished in the big billabong; turtle, dugong, sea snake and shark were all fish to be hunted. The sea is blue as the skies and the land called sand - the colour of the bark of the leopard tree. Cream in colour and the sand crunches underfoot.
There are so many beautiful birds with vivid colours. The birds here are dull compared with the coastal birds.
It will take us at least three days walking and we must be mindful of the sick and elderly." Mulloway smiled benevolently at the old people who had never left their tribal hunting grounds and were fearful of moving away from the only home they had known.

Next day at sunrise, litters were made from saplings and strapped together with vines - these were to carry the sick and the old folks that couldn't walk.

The women dug as many tubers (sweet potato) as they could and filled their dilly bags for the long journey. The young men hunted what game they could kill - some wallaby and porcupine. Nothing is ever wasted in the killing and eating of bush tucker - the quills from the porcupine are used for needles to sew animal skins together. The young girls gathered seeds and berries for the tribe's medicine chest. All manner of ailments can be treated by using bush medicine.

The Koolyangara were too excited to wait for the rest of the tribe and so they set off by themselves along the track they thought would take them to the coast and the 'big billabong.'

Mulloway missed the children by the time the clan was ready to start their journey and so he sent a young hunter called Jacqueirie after the children. The children hadn't gotten very far before they realised they were totally lost.

"You are in big trouble," Jacqueirie called to the children.
"We are looking for the big billabong," said Marcoola.
Jacqueirie crossed his arms across his broad, brown chest.
"Morawa is angry with you for leaving the camp - we are waiting for you so we can all leave for the coast together.

After returning to the baanya (camp) the tribe assembled ready to set off on the three day walk to the coast. mulloway spoke sternly to the children - "never go off by yourselves again, why, you could have been lost forever," covering his face that was smiling.

The first day's walk was uneventful, the clan camped by sandstone cliffs and built up a big fire to keep the dingo (wild dog) away. The dingo were feeling the effects of the drought too; they would not attack if the fire was kept burning all night.

The third day showed the changes in their surroundings, the ground had turned to sand and the tribe's bare feet crunched on the silica - in the sand. The tribe was amazed at the multi-coloured birds that circled the rainforest canopy. Kangaroo were not so prevalent but small animals like wallaby - we call them Paddy Melons, were.

The tribe were exhausted from their long walk and after they found a clean, clear billabong, they settled down to rest and sleep the night.
The three Koolyangara were also tired but too excited to sleep and so they sneaked off down a sandy path that led to the cliff tops.

"Oh, look at the big billabong," said Marcoola.
"We are the first to find it," said Barcoo. Twee just giggled at her friends. They took hold of each other's hands and stood on the edge of the cliff overlooking the ocean.
They had always jumped together into the billabong - today seemed no different to them. They had no idea of the danger of the drop to the ocean and how deep the sea would be.

They jumped together and soon realised after hitting the ocean, this was no gentle billabong. The waves pulled them this way and that - they were not strong enough to swim against the tide. Wave after wave pulled them under and they began to drown.

The sea spirit, Boomali, had been waiting in his sea-cave when he heard the children's cries for help. He rocketed to the surface and grabbled hold of the three drowning children.

Boomali had to think quickly; save them all for the ocean or let them die to the land. He thought of another way he could save their lives - of course they would never see their kin again and they would be sad, it might just work - Boomali decided to change them into dolphin to swim the oceans forever.

The lesson for the Koolyangara, children, always listen to your elders even if you don't agree with them - adults do know best. When you see three dolphin jump together, think of Twee, Barcoo and Marcoola.

The book continues with The Magic Billabong.. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
Three Koolyangara (children) disobey their parents and are nearly drowned at sea. The sea spirit, Boomali heard their cries and rescued them by turning them into dolphins - never again would they see their tribe. They would swim together in the ocean as dolphins.
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