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Main > Australian folktales > Fairy tale "The Gwineeboos the redbreasts"

The Gwineeboos the redbreasts

The words they said meant, "Come hailstones; come wind; come rain; come lightning."

While they were chanting, little Gwineeboo kept crying, and would not be comforted. Soon came a few big drops of rain, then a big wind, and as that lulled, more rain. Then came thunder and lightning, the air grew bitterly cold, and there came a pitiless hailstorm, hailstones bigger than a duck's egg fell, cutting the leaves from the trees and bruising their bark. Gidgereegah and Quarrian came running over to the dardurr and begged the women to let them in.

"No," shrieked Gwineeboo above the storm, "there was no kangaroo meat for us: there is no dardurr shelter for you. Ask shelter of the hawks whom ye fed." The men begged to be let in, said they would hunt again and get kangaroo for the women, not one but many. "No," again shrieked the women. "You would not even listen to the crying of a little child; it is better such as you should perish." And fiercer raged the storm and louder sang the women:

"Moogaray, Moogaray, May, May,

Eehu, Eehu, Doongarah."

So long and so fierce was the storm that the young men must have perished had they not been changed into birds. First they were changed into birds and afterwards into stars in the sky, where they now are, Gidgereegah and Ouarrian with the kangaroo between them, still bearing the names that they bore on the earth.

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