Today’s post presents another story in Jiwarli with English translation, told to me by Jack Butler on 3rd November 1983 and explained on 15th May 1984. There is information about the Jiwarli spelling.
Echidna and Mountain Butcherbird
This story deals with jiribarri Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) and ngalyardangura Mountain Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis). Echidna is an anteater covered with spines, with flat ears and feet that point backwards — this is because Mountain Butcherbird punished Echidna for not listening and paying attention.
Echidna (left) and Mountain Butcherbird (right)
Mandhardanyjarri yananyjarni biji. Ngalyardangura walangurru guwardi. Mandharda gumbaja ngunhaburradhu. Ngunhaburradhu mandhardayirralaburradhu nyirnda ngurrangga. Wanduga wangganhu gumbaja jiribarriyi jiribarri buniyarnirru warri gurlgayirnu. Barrundhurru ngunha wanduga wanggaja. Nhaarrinyja nhurra warri gurlgayirnu wangginiyawu nganaju. Wanduga wanggaja. Mandhardaburradhu ngunhaburradhu ngunhaburradhu ngunha gumbaja. Guwardi gurriya burrarninyja badharrgarringu jiribarriyi. Gurlgarru badharninyja. Ngunha gurlga wilirirru gumbinha badharninyjabarndi. Ngalyardanguralu jirrbijirrbirninyjarru bangirdilu. Jirrbijirrbirninyjarru ngunha jirrbijirrbirninyjarru ngunha galaba yanabuga gajirijaga. Ngunharru gumbinha. Wuluwarninyja. Wuluwarninyja. Jina gubiyarrarninyja. Ngunharru ngunha jina gumbinha yarrbalbarru. Jinadhanyu. Maradhu bagalyalbu. Jinadhu ngunha wuluwarninyja ngunhaba. Nganalu jina manara nhanyararri. Wandhagala yinha jina yananyja. Jina manarangu yarrbalba jirrbijirrbirninyjabarndi ngalyardanguralu. Ngunharru ngunha gumbinhadhu guwardidhu jiribarri minarlyirranyurru. Ngunha yanara gardubayarru. Nhurra yanama gumbayi dhigarnu mandhurruwu. Minganyjarriyirru nhurra dhigarnu gumbama. Ngunhaba wanggaja wanduga. Gurlga binyanyja. Jalya nhurra gumbirarri mandhurruwu dhigarnu. Minganyjarriyi gumbirarringu dhigarnu. Yanararri nhurra mingadhanyu barndingu gujuru.
Many men were coming. Ngalyardangura is a bird now, but at that time he was a man. At that time there were no human beings here in this country. Mountain Butcherbird was talking about Echidna but he was coming along not listening. Mountain Butcherbird spoke to him again. “Why don’t you listen to what I am saying?”, Mountain Butcherbird said. They used to be men at that time. Next he got a boomerang to hit Echidna. He hit him about the ears. Now his ears are wide because he was hit. Ngalyardangura speared (him) with short spears. He speared him and speared him so that now he goes about like this with spears. That’s how he is now. He broke his leg. He broke his leg. He twisted his foot. That’s why now his feet are back to front. Only his feet. His hands are all right. He broke his feet. If someone gets his tracks and looks, they will say: “Which way has this track gone?” They might get the track back to front because he had been speared by Ngalyardangura. That’s how echidna is now unable to walk. He will go along slowly. “You go along eating white ants. You live eating ants!” Mountain Butcherbird said. He warned him. “You will be destitute, eating white ants. You will live by eating ants” said Mountain Butcherbird.