Bunjil is Swept from the Earth

Bunjil's work was nearing an end. The land was fair, adorned with vegetation ranging from moss and tiny blades of grass to the tall trees that stood stiff and unyielding in the still air. Animal life was abundant and infinite in variety, flying, scurrying across the ground, and burrowing through the soil. Only the trees and plants remained motionless, as though Bunjil had forgotten to give them life.

"There must be movement, for life is a pulsating state of ceaseless activity," he murmured. "There must be moving air to carry the clouds on its back, strong winds to bend the trees, and fitful breezes to enable birds to fight against them and make them strong."

He looked round him. Bellin-bellin the Crow was behind him, with an airtight bag suspended from his neck.

"Have you kept the winds I gave you to mind safe in your bag?" he asked.

"Yes, Great Father Bunjil, they are all there. Not one has escaped."

"Good! Now you may open it and release some of the winds."

Bellin-bellin cautiously opened one corner of the bag. A gentle breeze sped across the western lands, another to the east, another to the south, and a fiercer, colder wind to the north.

The trees waved their branches, the birds lifted their voices as they felt the fresh air caressing their bodies, and even the insects and lizards joined in praise of Bunjil, the Great Provider.

"That is good," Bunjil told him. "One last wind, please, a stronger one, a colder one, that will challenge my children to be brave and stand up to raging storms, and prepare them for the evil years that may lie ahead."

Bellin-bellin opened the neck of the bag wider still, and out roared a screaming wind with snow and the chill of high mountain pools, cold and bracing.

"Enough! Enough!" cried Bunjil. "No one can withstand the power of the south wind."

So strong was the wind that it bent the tall trees double and denuded them of their leaves, while he and his family were blown right out of the world, together with all their possessions. It did not stop blowing until Bunjil and all his relatives and followers were blown back to their permanent home in the sky.

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