Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Origin of the Koala

Traditional Australian tale

Living beings cannot survive without water. What will happen when this valuable natural resource begins to run out?
The aborigines in a village had such hard hearts that they paid no attention to Kubu, an orphan boy who could not speak and wandered the streets begging. So Kubu climbed up trees, his only friends, and watched the horizon tinted in beautiful colours so as to forget his hunger and thirst.
One fine day everyone went hunting, but first they hid their provisions, especially the water, so that the orphan couldn't take it away from them. But when Kubu was alone in the village, a tree began to move its branches in a strange way. Kubu understood its language and approached the trunk where he discovered the villagers' secret hiding place. He had a real feast and then climbed up the tree.
When the aborigines came back, they became so furious that they climbed up to the orphan and threw him out...and when Kubu woke up, he was on the ground surrounded by expectant faces. He didn't understand why they were looking at him that way, until he realised that his body was covered with hair and he had been turned into a small bear. The spirit of the trees gave him the gift of being the only animal that does not need water to live. And that's why he's called koala, "who doesn't need water".
Many times it's necessary to accept something tough to discover who we really are. It's painful but it's worth the trouble.
Source: Sofia Adalid's collection of Tales of the World.

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