The Dreaming

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The Land of Giants

Megafauna © Laurie Beirne

The hunters had wandered far in search of game without success. Then they decided to enter the forest and see if there was anything there. However, the forest was very large and seemed as if there was no end to it. Even the trees and bushes were bigger than they had ever seen before. They wondered what kind of strange place this dark, forbidding forest was and were reluctant to go further, but Gulanguloo, who was the eldest of the group, reminded them that they had to find food for their families and persuaded them to continue.

Later in the day, when Gulunguloo himself was beginning to lose heart, they noticed that the trees were becoming less dense. There was daylight ahead, so they continued until they came upon a vast plain.

What lay before them caused them to stand in wonder. For there, grazing upon the plain, were several giant animals: kangaroos, emus, and goannas as large as the largest crocodile.

Now, how were they going to hunt them? Surely their spears would never penetrate such tough hides. As for trying to outrun the emus—well, that was out of the question.

They decided to make camp and devise a way by which they could kill one, at least. Being such large animals, their meat would most certainly provide more than enough meat to feed their families for several days.

During the night, Gulunguloo was visited by a spirit who told him to collect a plant that grew at the edge of the forest. Then, under the cover of darkness, go and spread the leaves upon the plain, then return to sleep. This Gulunguloo did.

The next morning the hunters rose and gazed about them in amazement, for there on the plain several large kangaroos staggered about as if they were intoxicated, which in a way they were, because the plant that Gulunguloo spread about made them so.

It was then a simple matter to kill one of them. And as the kangaroos were so big, they were forced to butcher it there and then in order to carry the meat back to camp.

Gulunguloo's people had never seen such large pieces of meat and never ate as well as they did that week.

Burramadagal clan of the Dharrug tribe

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