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Goolahwilleel The Topknot Pigeon.

Young Goolahwilleel (top knot pigeon) used to go out hunting every day. His mother and sisters always expected that he would bring home kangaroo and emu for them. But each day he came home without any meat at all. They asked him what he did in the bush, as he evidently did not hunt. He said that he did hunt.

"Then why" said they, "do you bring us nothing home?"

"I cannot catch and kill what I follow" he said. "You hear me cry out when I find kangaroo or emu; is it not so?"

"Yes; each day we hear you call when you find something, and each day we get ready the fire, expecting you to bring home the spoils of the chase, but you bring nothing."

"Tomorrow" he said, "you shall not be disappointed. I will bring you a kangaroo."


Every day, instead of hunting, Goolahwilleel had been gathering wattle-gum, and with this Goolahwilleel had been modelling a perfect model of a kangaroo with tail, ears, and all complete.

The next day Goolahwilleel came towards the camp carrying the kangaroo made of gum.

Seeing him coming, and also seeing that Goolahwilleel was carrying the promised kangaroo, Goolahwilleel's mother and sisters said: "Ah, Goolahwilleel spoke truly. Goolahwilleel has kept his word, and now brings us a kangaroo. Pile up the fire. Tonight we shall eat meat."

About a hundred yards away from the camp Goolahwilleel put down his model, and came on without it. Goolahwilleel's mother called out: "Where is the kangaroo you brought home?"


"Oh, over there." Goolahwilleel pointed towards where he had left the kangaroo made of gum.

The sisters ran to get the kangaroo, but came back saying: "Where is the kangaroo? We cannot see the kangaroo."

"Over there" Goolahwilleel said, pointing again.

"But there is only a great figure of gum there."

"Well, did I say it was anything else? Did I not say it was gum?"

"No, you did not. You said it was a kangaroo."


"And so it is, a kangaroo. A beautiful kangaroo that I made all by myself." Goolahwilleel smiled quite proudly to think what a fine kangaroo he had made.

But Goolahwilleel's mother and sisters did not smile. They seized Goolahwilleel and gave him a good beating for deceiving them. They told Goolahwilleel he should never go out alone again, because he only played instead of hunting, though he knew they starved for meat. They would always in the future go with him.

And so for ever the Goolahwilleels went in flocks, never more singly, in search of food.

  Collected in 1897 by Mrs. K. Langloh Parker.