Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Munjarra a Story from Australia

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Munjarra a Story from Australia

Article excerpt

LONG AGO, in the Dreamtime, a man wandered to the water to swim. As he waded into the water, he spotted a stone in the sand. He picked it up and smiled, for the stone, wet and slippery, glimmered as brightly as the sun and moon shining together. He held it in his open palm, but suddenly it flew from his fingers straight up into the bright blue sky.

This was not a real stone, you see. Rather, it was a man whose name was Munjarra. When Munjarra reached the sky, he took his real shape and began to walk around.

Munjarra looked down and saw his country lying below him. He gazed at the mountains and the beautiful wide desert, the flowing streams, the broad flatlands and the deep red earth. He saw the water in which he had lain. Beyond all this, he saw the gleaming blue of salt water.

After he had stayed in the sky for a while, Munjarra longed to visit this country again. He jumped with all his strength, but no matter how he tried, no matter how hard he swung his arms or how low he bent his knees, he simply could not jump out of the sky. He walked this way and that. He turned somersaults and tried to hurl himself out of the sky. Nothing worked.

He realized he would have to remain where he was. Tears came to his eyes, and he said to himself, "I must be like Morwey the sun. I will have to stay here and heat the earth below me."

When Morwey heard Munjarra's words, he cried out: "No! I am the one who lights up the day. You must have a task different from mine. Your job shall be to light up the sky while I am resting from my long day's work. I will banish you from the sky during the day."

At that moment, without even trying, Munjarra flew at once out of the sky. Down, down, down he flew, and landed in the sea. There, shaped like a stone, he waited and watched for the moment when he might return to the sky.

He watched the sky turn from soft pink to golden to a softer shade of yellow as the sun rose. …

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