Among those who came to the Corroboree was the scaly crocodile, Gumungung, who spake unto Koniara, saying, “O Great One, what thee or thou have wrought is awesome and immense, but there is no colour, no excitement, no magic or joy in the Land. As far as the eye can see, all is red and brown and flat as a toenail. And that’s more dull and boring than a pub with no beer. And newsflash: it’s also way too frickin’ hot!”
“My sacred doings be not to thy satisfaction,” quoth Koniara unto Gumungung, “and yet I made the whole ball of wax in just two days not six, and I didn’t need to chuck a sickie on the seventh neither.”
“More elbow grease maybe, that might have helped,” quoth Kuruku the Kookaburra, whose laughter rang out long and loud in the dry and beerless air.
“Don’t you come the raw prawn with me,” spake Koniara unto Kuruku, waxing full wroth and dry-throated to the max, “Fair dinkum, mate. Hard yakka? I been flat out like a lizard drinking, for sure!”
“Pull the other one, it’s got bells on it,” laughed Kuruku, his merriment boomeranging into the Great Serpent’s heart of hearts, which lay pulsing somewhere between the eighty third and ninety sixth rib of the lengthy Koniara.
Now Koniara hearkened unto the words of the laughing one and the scaly one. Rising up as high as he could upon his rib-full loops, he looked out upon his creation and found it wanting.
So Koniara made the Great Rock Uluru, the shapely Olgas, and all the hills and plains, yea, and escarpments too he wrought.
Then Koniara quoth unto Gumungung and Kuruku, thuswise, saying, “Youse have spake ye whinges, and ye have whined ye whinings. Therefore have I deflattened the Land, which now lays before ye strewn with humps and hillocks and shapely stones and boulders to delight the eye…”
“Well that’s as much good as tits on a bull, if you’re a farmer,” quoth Gumungung, multiplying Kuruku’s hilarity ten-thousandfold.
Then spake Kuruku unto Koniara, saying, “O Great Serpent, in my travels far away in the land of Kentuck, I have encountered Kipara the Wild Turkey, the great bird that gobbles and is gobbled. To drink of the blood of Kipara is to open the mind’s eye to visions that surpasseth understanding. Only the Wild Turkey can transmogrify thy dull and boring Land, o Serpent, rendering it all wobbly and purple, with more ups and downs you can shake a stick at.”
And thus it came to pass that Koniara sent the laughing Kuruku to the land of Kentuck to retrieve the blood of Kipara, the Wild Turkey. On Kuruku’s return, Koniara the Great Serpent drank the mystical juice, and fell once more to his dreaming.
Then Koniara dreamed a powerful dream that brought wild magic and cosmic colour to the deflattened but still dull Land of Oz. The dream was so powerful that all the animals could not help but express their joy at the feet of the footless Great Serpent Koniara.
“The chunder down under,” laughed Kuruku the Kookaburra, “whose shout is it now mate?”
After-words (much later)
I adapted this story from the original written by my late father. He wrote it many years ago as his entry into a competition — sponsored by Wild Turkey whiskey — and won a prize for his efforts.
I’m sure there are those who disapprove of the crass and disrespectful way in which the story tries to make fun of some of the beliefs of the indigenous peoples of Australia.
Rude and crass I may be, but at least I’m an equal-opportunity crass-giver. In other places at other times I’ve been far more disrespectful if not downright aggressively hostile towards the likes of Jehovah, Allah, Ahura Mazda and others. Gods have got to learn to cop it sweet, I always say, just like the rest of us.
Of course, it’s incorrect to claim that to escape the (alleged) dullness and boredom of Australia one needs to drink whiskey imported from Kentucky USA. There’s no shortage of locally made booze: Bundaberg Rum’s been known to produce some pretty vivid dreaming. Even since they were bought out by British firm Diageo PLC, based in a wet and pissy land where the beer is warm and they can’t play tennis to save their lives.
chuck a sickie: take an unauthorized day off work on the (false) grounds of being ill
don't come the raw prawn with me: "don't try and fool me"
fair dinkum: true, real, genuine
hard yakka: hard work
whose shout is it now: whose turn is it to buy a round