The Dreaming

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The Dolphin Children

The day was so hot it sapped the people's strength to the point that daily activities became virtually impossible. So it was decided that they move camp and make for the coast.

Their journey would be hard for both the elderly and infant children, but the elder children viewed it as an exciting adventure. They took every opportunity to make the most of it, but were constantly being cautioned to stay close.

Finally, as the sun sank into the earth, they reached the sea and camped by a freshwater spring, and proceeded to refill the water containers and prepare a meal before settling down for a well earned rest. However, three of the elder children were missing, so they immediately organized a search before it became too dark to track them. The searchers discovered the tracks of the missing children who had gone exploring on their own without permission from their parents, which was inexcusable because they knew better.

The children's tracks led to a rocky ledge and ended abruptly. The men expected to see them either playing in the shallows or swimming. But there were no shallows. The ledge was sheer rock to deep water, so where were the children?

As soon as the people had reached the coast, the three children had run to the rocky ledge to gaze with wonder upon the sea for the first time. But to them it was nothing more than a large billabong, so they did what they always did on a hot day, they simply leapt into it.

As soon as the children surfaced they knew they were in trouble because the current caused by the waves crashing against the rock face began to carry them out to sea, and their calls for help were in vain. It was then that Boomali, a sea spirit came to their aid. He knew that the children had brought it upon themselves by deliberately ignoring all they had been taught in order to play, then so be it. He changed them into dolphins, doomed to play in the sea for the rest of their lives without ever seeing their loved ones again.

Burramadagal clan of the Dharrug tribe


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