Langkurr Kurlu Jartiny (The Wicked Possum) PDF Print E-mail

‘Yu! Pala! Pala! Kurili kurnu niyamaringi palanga.’ Partanykarrangu kampinyiyi ngapakurluja. Pala! Pala! Kurilijirri jana kurilijirri. Pala ngurnu pinarri pala wararr karrinyirri. Marnti…pinarri karti pala karti. Yalinyji mirranji jinirnil janinyi. ‘Munyilijiyi nyungungu.’ Paliny wuturrp. Larrkartingi karntinyirri. Janalu pilkunyiyi partal. Jana  pungkinyilpiyi rarrpku ngapakurluja winuja.

Marlkarri wakaj. Marlkarri jarrinyiyi. Jujungu kankarrangu wurrungu makanungu katakunulnga Possum. Nganimiti ngurlu wuturrp yalinyji yanalpa. Tamanalpa partijirri ngurra.. karta karrinyilnga. Kajanaljanaku  warinyji. ‘Pala walanyu kurilangu’ ‘Yirrilkunyalu kurrnganaku’ ‘Ngapa kulpunyalu’ Ngapa yinyalpiyalu. ‘Yankuluminyi wakaj.

The Possum man came to another water hole. Then he got up in the morning and went northwards. Then he met a big number (mob) of people - men and young people. He kept going. They came towards him and began to talk to him. They asked him, ‘Where are you coming from?’ ‘From the south I have come to invite you for business. Truly, all of you come with me. Come with me! They all got up and were on their way south. Their first stop was a dry camp! (no water) They slept. They got up early and continued on their way south. They made another camp! They asked, ‘Is water close up?’ ‘Yes ! That way! That way! To the south near that hill.’ The young people were terribly thirsty. Forward! Forward! To the south they went. That big shady tree over there in the distance… it is easy to see. On they went…in the direction of that big cloud tree. He put them in the shade. [He said to them] ‘Wait for me here.’ He took off. He climbed up a Boab Tree. The youths waited in vain. They all collapsed and died of thirst. They all perished.

The Possum man came down from the top of the tall tree. When he saw this, the Possum  man was off again back north. Half way he camped and slept. He met another group. ‘That is the stranger from the south,’ they said on looking at him ‘Let’s go and see him and have a yarn’ ‘Let’s bring him some water’ They Kangkuluminyi janinyi’ ‘Wayirti ngapa japirr?’ minilpiya. ‘Ngapa wangkamiti.’ Pala ngunu wangka jarrinyilng.a Wurrungi kajanalpiyi pinarringi. Larrkartingi kantinyirri pirljurr kaniny karti. ‘Yuwa nganinya ngapa!’ Janalu pilkunyilpiyii partal. Winuja pungkilpiyi partanykarrangu ngalyunkurru pirirrimiti rarrpku. Janaku wungkangal pangkurl ngurlu Possumju. Purlpi marlkarrinjirri. Paliny wuturrp pangkurl ngurlu wapa kangilnga.

Palaja yalinyji yarrana yanalnga. Pala walanyu poured out some water for him to drink. [Here  the story repeats itself. The stranger takes them all down south] ‘We will all go. We will take  the young people’ ‘Is there any water?’ they asked. ‘Water is close up.’ It has become close now. They came to Wurrungu Pinarringi. The  Possum man climbed up right inside the middle of the Boab tree. ‘Give us water!’ They waited in vain. All died from thirst, the children, the women and the men. The Possum man peeped at them from the hollow in the tree. They died

Four Elders at La Grange Mission. Tommy Dodd second from left. Also in the photo are Clancy, Murray Tom and a Northern Nyangumarta Elder Photograph provided by Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre

by Tommy Dodd
as told in Nor thern Ny angumarta
to Father Kevin McKel son
at LaGr ange Mission (WA) , early 1960 ’s