This story, from the Kimberley, a region of Western Australia, is retold with permission, by Francis Firebrace. (Pronounced: jidajida).
Aboriginal people regard the Willy Wagtail as the most intelligent of all living creatures and treat it with respect. They believe the bird listens to their conversations. If they speak ill of a departed spirit, the bird will go and tell the spirit, who will return to haunt the offenders.
A LONG TIME AGO, high in the mountains in Western Australia, there lived two giant animals. They were a giant snake and a giant wild dingo, which used to hunt down and eat people. These fearsome animals lived in big caves, alongside each other and would leave their hiding places, only when the sun disappeared and darkness fell upon the land.
As the animals were afraid of fire, the Aboriginal people kept their campfires burning all night, to keep these fearsome creatures away. Despite these precautions, men, women and children were still taken and eaten by the two giants.
One day, the people held a meeting to decide how they could rid themselves of this menace. Among the tribe there were two brave young warriors, who offered their assistance. One was called Djididjidi, the Willy Wagtail man and the other was Kuburi, the Robin Redbreast man.
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