Mayrah The Wind That Blows The Winter Away

: Australian Legendary Tales

At the beginning of winter, the iguanas hide themselves in their homes

in the sand; the black eagle hawks go into their nests; the garbarlee

or shingle-backs hide themselves in little logs, just big enough to

hold them; the iguanas dig a long way into the sand and cover up the

passage behind them, as they go along. They all stay in their winter

homes until Mayrah blows the winter away. Mayrah first blows up a

rm. When the iguanas hear the thunder, they know the spring

is not far off, so they begin making a passage to go out again, but

they do not leave their winter home until the Curreequinquin, or

butcher birds sing all day almost without ceasing "Goore, goore, goore,

goore." Then they know that Mayrah has really blown the winter away,

for the birds are beginning to pair and build their nests. So they open

their eyes and come out on the green earth again. And when the black

fellows hear the curreequinquins singing "Goore, goore," they know that

they can go out and find iguanas again, and find them fatter than when

they went away with the coming of winter. Then, too, will they find

piggiebillahs hurrying along to get away from their young ones, which

they have buried in the sand and left to shift for themselves, for no

longer can they carry them, as the spines of the young ones begin to

prick them in their pouch. So they leave them and hurry away, that they

may not hear their cry. They know they shall meet them again later on,

when they are grown big. Then as Mayrah softly blows, the flowers one

by one open, and the bees come out again to gather honey. Every bird

wears his gayest plumage and sings his sweetest song to attract a mate,

and in pairs they go to build their nests. And still Mayrah softly

blows until the land is one of plenty; then Yhi the sun chases her back

whence she came, and the flowers droop and the birds sing only in the

early morning. For Yhi rules in the land until the storms are over and

have cooled him, and winter takes his place to be blown away again by

Mayrah the loved of all, and the bringer of plenty.