This story is from the Cape York area of Northern Queensland, retold with permission, by Francis Firebrace. Pikkuw, which is pronounced Pikawi, is a story of how the crocodile came to be, following the breaking of solemn tribal lore about married women.

A LONG TIME AGO, back in the Dreaming, there lived a tribe, on the banks of a river, up in the Cape York area. Amongst this tribe was a tall, handsome fella, named Pikkuw, who had fallen in love with a beautiful married woman.

Pikkuw knew it was against tribal law, to mess around with a married woman. He was warned several times by the tribal elders, that it was a very serious offence. These men knew that the woman’s husband was, by now, very upset about Pikkuw’s misbehavior.

But Pikkuw did not heed their warning. Once again, he was caught with the woman, on the banks of the river. The old men called the elders for a meeting and sat down in a circle, to discuss what to do. After much discussion, they eventually decided that Pikkuw had been warned enough.

The severe punishment for this offence must be carried out.

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