Little Flying Fox is a Creation story from New South Wales North Coast, retold with permission, by Pauline McLeod

(In this story of the little flying fox, there are 16 to 20 Lessons. It is not the Storyteller’s responsibility to tell you what they are, but the listener’s task, to find the lessons hidden within the story).

HAVE YOU EVER seen a flying fox? Well… he has a body of a bat, the head of a fox and he only eats the fruit of a tree. When he is on the ground, he screeches and hollers, gets underfoot and trips people, all the time.

A long way back in the Dreaming, the little flying fox thought he was a bird and not a bat. It was during the time, when the Great Spirit came down to earth, to teach all the birds how to be birds. Things like how to fly, to sing, how to make nests and lay eggs and do all those `birdie’ things.

The little flying fox went over to the Great Spirit, getting under foot, tripping him, and screaming out, “Teach me! Teach me! Teach me how to be a bird!”

The Great Spirit said, “Hey flying fox! You are not a bird. You are a bat! Wait over there, and when I am finished with all the birds, I will teach you how to be a bat.”

But the little flying fox wouldn’t listen, he kept getting under the feet of the Great Spirit, tripping him, screaming out, “Teach me! Teach me! Teach me how to be a bird! I’ve got wings – I can fly, teach me how to be a bird, right now!”
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To read all 33 stories, click here to buy Gadi Mirrabooka – 33 Australian Aboriginal Tales from the Dreaming


flying fox