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Baralga and Dinewan

Brolga Dance

© Naiura "Dan" Purches

Baralga the brolga was a handsome bird with beautiful, snow-white plumage, a long tapering beak and long, slender legs. He was also a wonderful dancer and longed to find someone to dance with him.

He had searched every waterway for many weeks without success, and was feeling a little forlorn as he flew over a lake—until he spotted Dinewan the emu running across the plain on his long, powerful legs.

"At last," Baralga sighed. Then, with not another thought, he swooped from the sky and flew alongside Dinewan and asked if he would like to dance with him.

Dinewan's eyes almost popped out of his head, and he skidded to a halt. Baralga completed a perfect circle then elegantly came to rest beside him. Then he began to dance, much to Dinewan's surprise.

"I'm dancing," said Baralga, "please join me."

"I don't want to dance," Dinewan told him.

"Oh, please do," Baralga begged.

"You're mad," Dinewan growled. "Emus and and brolgas don't dance together," and there they stood and argued the point in the middle of the plain.

"Boys!" a pretty voice scolded. "What on earth are you arguing about?" Without looking at her, Dinewan stamped his foot in anger. "Because this fool wants to dance," he replied gruffly, "and I keep telling him that I don't want to."

"I'll dance with you," she said.

Baralga's beak dropped open when he saw her. "Can you dance?" he asked.

"Of course I can," she replied, then added, "I am a very good dancer."

With that, the two brolgas flew away, occasionally coming to rest in order to dance briefly then fly off again. Their descendants are many and can be seen wading in lakes and rivers throughout the land.

Burramadagal clan of the Dharrug tribe

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