World of Tales

Dinewan the emu, and Wahn the crows

Australian Folktale

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Dinewan and his two wives, the Wahn, were camping out. Seeing some clouds gathering, they made a bark humpy. It came on to rain, and they all took shelter under it. Dinewan, when his wives were not looking, gave a kick against a piece of bark at one side of the humpy, knocked it down, then told his wives to go and put it up again. When they were outside putting it up, he gave a kick, and knocked down a piece on the other side; so no sooner were they in again than out they had to go. This he did time after time, until at last they su spected him, and decided that one of them would watch. The one who was watching saw Dinewan laugh to himself and go and knock down the bark they had just put up, chuckling at the thought of his wives having to go out in the wet and cold to put it up, while he had his supper dry and comfortably inside. The one who saw him told the other, and they decided to teach him a lesson. So in they came, each with a piece of bark filled with hot coals. They went straight up to Dinewan, who was lying down laughing.

"Now," they said, "you shall feel as hot we did cold." And they threw the coals over him. Dinewan jumped up, crying aloud with the pain, for he was badly burnt. He rolled himself over, and ran into the rain; and his wives stayed inside, and laughed aloud at him.

Australian Legendary Tales

Australian Legendary Tales

Notes: Folk-lore of the Noongahburrahs as told to the Piccaninnies.
Features 31 Australian folktales Author: Mrs. K. Langloh Parker
Published: 1896
Publisher: David Nutt.,270 - 271, Strand, London;
Melville, Mulle & Slade, Melbourne

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