Bunjil the Creator #2

Balayang the Bat was enjoying himself paddling in the shallow water at the edge of the Goulburn River, scooping it up with his hands and splashing it in the air. The mud at the river bottom was stirred up until he could no longer see through it. Tiring of this, he stripped the leaves from a fallen branch and poked it into the mud. Presently he felt something soft and yielding, yet heavier and more solid than the mud in which it was resting.

Curious to know what it could be, he poked it with the stick and felt it roll over but, try as he might, he was unable to bring it to the surface. Withdrawing the stick, he bent it into a hook and succeeded in catching the mysterious object.

When it emerged he saw two hands, a head, a body, and two feet. It was the body of a woman. As he was dragging it on to the bank, two more hands appeared. A second body had broken loose and was floating to the surface.

Wondering what he had discovered, for never before had Balayang seen a woman, he took the bodies to Bunjil and laid them at his feet.

"These are women," the Great Spirit said. "They are made to be companions and helpers of men. This is Kunnawarra, the Black Swan, and this one Kururuk, the Native companion.

As he spoke, men gathered round him, anxious to see the first women. Bunjil held his hands over them and gave them life. The women stood up, looking at the men who encircled them and then at the Great Spirit.

"You are to live with the men," he said. "Man is not complete without you, nor will you be complete without him."

He gave each a digging stick, symbolic of their destiny as gatherers of vegetable food, and to the men spears and spear-throwers, as a sign that they were to be hunters of animals and protectors of their womenfolk.

Go to the other Bunjil creation story.

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