A Creation story from the First Time, when Tasmania is born, retold with permission, by Pauline E. McLeod

WHEN THE WORLD was young, all things took their shape. Trowenna, the heart-shaped island we call Tasmania, was very small, just a tiny sandbank in the southern sea. So it remained in complete darkness, all throughout the early days, for countless ages.

One morning, flashing fire, from out of the sea rose Parnuen, the Sun and his wife, Vena. They traveled across the sky together and sank into the sea on the other side of Trowenna.

Being a woman, Vena could not travel as fast as Parnuen, so he carried her in his arms, right in the center of his huge disc-like body.

On the next day, they rose again from the sea and, when they passed across the little island of Trowenna, they dropped some seeds of the great gum tree, tar monadro. The following day, Parnuen sprinkled them with rina dina, the raindrops.

Next day, he dropped shellfish into the seas all around the island. On the day after that, their first little baby, Moinee, was born. He was a strong shining boy. Parnuen and his wife, Vena, placed Moinee high in the sky, above the icy lands to the south of Trowenna. Moinee became the great South Star.

On the day following the birth of Moinee, their second son, gentle Dromerdene, was born, shining, just like his brother. They also gave Dromerdene a home in the sky, midway between themselves and Moinee, the great South Star.

Beegerer and Piminer, the twins, were born on the next day. They became the great stars that we call Sirius and Betelgeuse.

Then, came a great and terrible storm. Wind, rain and huge seas almost washed away the little island of Trowenna.

To see how this story ends, click here to buy Gadi Mirrabooka – Australian Aboriginal Tales from the Dreaming