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Bahloo The Moon And The Daens

Source: Australian Legendary Tales

Bahloo the moon looked down at the earth one night, when his light was
shining quite brightly, to see if any one was moving. When the earth
people were all asleep was the time he chose for playing with his three
dogs. He called them dogs, but the earth people called them snakes, the
death adder, the black snake, and the tiger snake. As he looked down on
to the earth, with his three dogs beside him, Bahloo saw about a dozen
daens, or black fellows, crossing a Creek. He called to them saying,
"Stop, I want you to carry my dogs across that creek." But the black
fellows, though they liked Bahloo well, did not like his dogs, for
sometimes when he had brought these dogs to play on the earth, they had
bitten not only the earth dogs but their masters; and the poison left
by the bites had killed those bitten. So the black fellows said, "No,
Bahloo, we are too frightened; your dogs might bite us. They are not
like our dogs, whose bite would not kill us."

Bahloo said, "If you do what I ask you, when you die you shall come to
life again, not die and stay always where you are put when you are
dead. See this piece of bark. I throw it into the water." And he threw
a piece of bark into the creek. "See it comes to the top again and
floats. That is what would happen to you if you would do what I ask
you: first under when you die, then up again at once. If you will not
take my dogs over, you foolish daens, you will die like this," and he
threw a stone into the creek, which sank to the bottom. "You will be
like that stone, never rise again, Wombah daens!"

But the black fellows said, "We cannot do it, Bahloo. We are too
frightened of your dogs."

"I will come down and carry them over myself to show you that they are
quite safe and harmless." And down he came, the black snake coiled
round one arm, the tiger snake round the other, and the death adder on
his shoulder, coiled towards his neck. He carried them over. When he
had crossed the creek he picked up a big stone, and he threw it into
the water, saying, "Now, you cowardly daens, you would not do what I,
Bahloo, asked you to do, and so forever you have lost the chance of
rising again after you die. You will just stay where you are put, like
that stone does under the water, and grow, as it does, to be part of
the earth. If you had done what I asked you, you could have died as
often as I die, and have come to life as often as I come to life. But
now you will only be black fellows while you live, and bones when you
are dead."

Bahloo looked so cross, and the three snakes hissed so fiercely, that
the black fellows were very glad to see them disappear from their sight
behind the trees. The black fellows had always been frightened of
Bahloo's dogs, and now they hated them, and they said, "If we could get
them away from Bahloo we would kill them." And thenceforth, whenever
they saw a snake alone they killed it. But Babloo only sent more, for
he said, "As long as there are black fellows there shall be snakes to
remind them that they would not do what I asked them."

Next: The Origin Of The Narran Lake

Previous: The Galah And Oolah The Lizard

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