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Yindi (a fairytale)
A long, long time ago all the animals on the big island lived in darkness. The animals had no idea what they all looked like as there was no light ever. They used their clever noses to sniff out their food and each other, and also their paws to feel their way. The sounds they made helped to identify their surroundings. It all worked well, apart from bumping into each other occasionally, when they would just say sorry and giggle about it. Life was good on the big island.
The young ones invented games to play in the dark like Hide and Seek, Tag and Echidna Football. Because it was dark, they had great difficulty in finding each other when playing hide and seek, and the game would go on forever. When they played tag it often ended in fights when someone would poke a sleeping animal awake, shouting "You're it!" in his ear. The most thrilling game of all was Echidna football. Echidna would curl into a spiny ball and roll around in the dark. The point of this game was not to kick the ball because if you did it was extremely painful. The ones who did would let out an awful howl of agony and injuries were many. Whenever this game was played the adults would gather together out of the way, shaking their heads and clicking their tongues at the foolishness of their offspring. Life was good on the big island.
One day or night (they were all the same to the animals) they saw above them far, far away something sparkling. It came closer and closer, and grew larger and larger. Finally it hit the ground and set the land on fire. It was a scary thing to happen as the animals had not seen anything ever before. As the fire burned the scrub and gum trees, the smoke made the animals cough and they ran away from it. Gathering in a clearing, the animals stood dumbfounded. For the first time they could make out shapes, and the closer the fire came the more they could see of their surroundings and each other. What they saw either scared them or sent them into fits of laughter. It was a most terrifying and yet wonderful experience.
When the fire finally died down, they all gathered around some burning embers to discuss what had happened. It took them a while to settle down as they looked and pointed at each other. Tiger the snake told Wilbur the head kangaroo he looked ridiculous; Edna possum who had been madly in love with Ernie, a blue-tongued lizard, took one look at him, shrieked, and ran away.
When everyone saw spiny Bill, the echidna, the game of football was banned immediately. On the whole everyone was thrilled with the ability to see, and wondered how they could keep the light going.
At last the elders spoke about what had happened while there was still a little light coming from the embers, but as the embers died completely and it was all dark again. The animals were very sad indeed. They didn't know what had happened, but all had been touched by light and were no longer satisfied with life in the dark. For weeks they spoke of it with longing. The young ones played games again but not with much enthusiasm, and usually just stood hanging around looking upwards in the hope that another fire would come out of the dark. Life had changed on the big island.
The animal elders, worried about the sad state of things, and came up with only one idea. One of the animals must go to the mystical spirit of Uluru to ask for advice. They had all heard of Uluru but no-one knew where it was. It was told the spirit of Uluru had created the big island on which they lived and could grant wishes. The elders called four of the most adventurous young kangaroo bucks to instruct them to go forth and find Uluru. They were told what to say if they found Uluru, and to return as quickly as possible when their search ended.
The four lads were renamed in the direction they were sent, North went north, South went south, East went east and West went west. Off they went, proud and happy to be on a great adventure and hopeful of finding Uluru.
Weeks went by and the elders were getting concerned that none of the lads had returned. Then one day or night, East returned saying he had gone all the way east and had met many animals who had heard of Uluru but none knew where it was. He told them he went right to the edge of the big island, right to the salty waters. A week later North returned with more or less the same story, and a week after that South was back. All the animals' hopes now lay in the paws of West, but there was no sign of him anywhere.
For a long time they waited but when West did not return after another four weeks, the animals did not believe they would ever see him again. Then, whilst hanging around, the young ones became very excited as in the far, far distance they saw a line of light in the east. They called to the elders and others, and all stared at the distant light, getting very excited at the thought of another fire coming. They did not notice that West had returned, but when they did they all turned away from the light to face him to hear his story.
He told them he had found Uluru. Everyone spoke at once causing a great commotion until one of the elders shouted for silence. West told them how he spoke to the spirit of Uluru asking how to make fire so they could live with light. Everyone moved closer to listen. West went on to tell them what Uluru had replied. "You are all good animals, I am well pleased with your creation and I hear your humble request. Your long journey shall not have been in vain brave West, and you shall carry my greetings to all creatures great and small on this big island. As you have honoured me by living in peace with each other, I shall reward you and send my three most beautiful daughters to bring light into your lives. Dawn will meet with you when you get back to your friends; she will lead Yindi across the sky and when the darkness is upon the land Alkina will follow with a promise of Yindi's return, again and again and forever. Go back now and bring the good tidings to all you meet."
Everyone gasped in awe and slowly it became light. As they turned and looked east they saw Dawn leading the way. Then Yindi burst into a blue above to light all their days. On that first day of light they watched Yindi disappear but before they could feel sad Alkina rose with the promise of Yindi's return.
Although there were some animals who could never get used to the daylight and preferred to remain nocturnal, everyone was very happy and life was extremely good on the big island.
Echidna, Australian porcupine
Yindi = the sun (Aboriginal)
Alkina = the moon (Aboriginal)
Uluru = Ayer's Rock (a most spiritual place)
feedback van andere lezers
een sprookje dat veel werkelijkheid bevat, als mensen eens echt konden zien met het Licht dat werkelijk Licht is, ze zouden nogal schrikken van wat ze allemaal hielden en houden .. en met welk spelletjes ze bezig zijn ... Licht in de duisternis is altijd iets knap ..
killea: Many thanks for reading and FB
Excellent piece. Must have missed it when you published it.
killea: Thank you so much Bert
Mooi om lezen
en eens goed na te denken
killea: Thank you Dovan
For let it be told that never a greater fairytale has been.
killea: Oh Johan, what a wonderful FB, thank you
I really hope you go on with the Santiago-story. Those negative reactions are so narrow-minded, pathetic, pitiable...
killea: Thank you so much for your support Greta, have had correspondence from Miss Ghislaine Bergen - unbelievable