Bunjil and His People
Fireside stories about Bunjil and his people.
Berrimun played a trick on six young wirinuns (clever people) who had caught a kangaroo and were preparing it for a meal. He pretended that his teeth were sore, and asked, ‘if you let me suck a little of its blood it might do me good.’ He sucked every last drop until it was dry and tasteless. Bunjil told the wirinuns to club Berrimun until his teeth were knocked out and formed spikes on his chin, and he became Berrimun the blood-sucker lizard.
Besides punishing those who deserved it, Bunjil was ready to help those who were in need. Bunjil punished Karwine the crane for ill-treating his wife and refusing to share his food with her. Bunjil speared Karwine’s knees, and to this day he flies with his legs stretched out instead of drawn up to his body.
Despite the care that Bunjil showed for his people it was important not to offend him. Bunjil invited Balayang the bat to live with him, because he felt sorry for Balayang’s choice of home in the dark, gloomy, unpleasant meadows by the riverside. Balayang replied, ‘I have chosen my home because it is the best. I invite you to live with me. Bunjil was annoyed and told Djurt-djurt the nankeen kestrel and Thara the quail hawk to scorch Balayang’s home, turning the bat’s skin black._BR
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