The Story of Bialgi

A long time ago in the Dreaming, Bootoolga the Crane and his wife Goonur the Kangaroo Rat discovered that they could make fire by rubbing two sticks together. This was a great discovery and one which had the potential to greatly benefit their people. 

Bootoolga the Crane
Goonur the Kangaroo Rat

Instead of sharing the technique with their mates, Bootoolga and Goonur decided to keep their discovery a secret. They thought that this would elevate their status  and give them special privileges.

Every time that fire was required, Bootoolga and Goonur would disappear for a while, and then return with a fire already burning on a piece of bark that they used to carry it. However their people understood that Bootoolga and Goonur were not being gracious with their gift of fire, but were using it to try to win special favours.

Boolooral the Night Owl

One day they sent out Boolooral the Night Owl and Kowari the Parrot to follow Bootoolga and Goonur back to where they created their fire.

Boolooral and Kowari returned with information about the seemingly magic sticks that were being used to make the fire.

Kowari the Parrot

The people then planned a special corroboree and invited Bootoolga and Goonur to bring the fire for the ceremony. Bootoolga and Goonur, being quite vain, thought that this was going to be the occasion when they would be elevated to a special place, and so were delighted to make their fire and bring it along to light the ceremonial fire.

Bialgi the Hawk

But while Bootoolga and Goonur were arriving at the corroboree with their fire, the people had sent out Bialgi the Hawk to search for the fire sticks. Just as Bootoolga and Goonur were putting their fire to the pit, Bialgi swooped back over the heads of all the people assembled at the corroboree and dropped the fire sticks at their feet.

Bootoolga and Goonur now knew the game was up, and recognised that the secret of making fire was not something that they should have kept to themselves. All of their people could now benefit from access to fire whenever they needed it.