Rainbow Serpent
Rainbow Serpent

Back in the Dreamtime, The world was very dark and colourless and back then the Rainbow Serpent lived underground and never came up.  Until one day she thought that she will come up to see what the outside world was like.

When she came up, she was shocked to see that it was so dark and colourless, while she was moving around she came across some Murries walking around.  And she said to them, how can you live in a world like this so dull and they said we survive.

For a while they sat around the campfire talking.  While talking the Rainbow Serpent convinced the Murries to try living in a world that she would create for them.  So she started to create a new world.

The first thing she did was asked two Murries, a brother and a sister would they hold a fire stick for her so she could see what and where she was going.  For a while she had them walking in front of her, but she could not see much.  So they took turns sitting on her tail and holding the fire sticks.

Then, the Rainbow Serpent also said I want each Murri to pick an animal or a bird and that will be called your totem.  So respect your totem and do not harm it in anyway.

Now, the Rainbow Serpent said “I must go now and rest, so I can get my strength back”.  As she was going the Murries sang out “how are we going to pay you for all you have done for us”.  So the Rainbow Serpent said I want you to sing, dance and make sure your songs are loud, so I can hear them and your dances Strong.  So I can feel your feet beating the ground.  And this will help me get my strength back.

So that night and there after they created new songs and dances to tell the Rainbow Serpent how pleased they are with her for what she had done and also the song and dances are to tell her what they have been doing everyday and especially about special occasions.

As she went and rested, she could hear the songs and feel the dancing which made her feel strong and for a long time she felt it.  Then one day, she started to feel weak and wondered why.  Then she realised there was hardly any singing or any dancing.

So she peeked up into the world and she seen that everything had changed.  When she seen what had happened, she was very unhappy and hurt, because the Murries that she seen last time had changed.  Their features were the same, but their colour was different and they were very sad.  No one sang or danced anymore.

Now the Rainbow Serpent started to put colours into the world and it started to look real bright and colourful, so everywhere she went and every time she touched something with one of her scales, that thing would turn that colour.  For a long time she was doing this.

Then she came back to the Murries and asked how do you like what you see and of course, they was real pleased at what they seen, but in the mean time the brother and sister came down from the Rainbow Serpents tail, then everything went dark again.  And the Murrries asked is there anyway that there be always be light.  So the Rainbow Serpent asked the brother and the sister if they would like to hold the firestick forever, so there will always be light.  And they said “yes”, so the Rainbow Serpent put them into the sky and now they still take turns holding the fire.  That is how the Sun and Moon came about.

And while they were talking, the animals and the birds came to the Rainbow Serpent and said we have seen what you have done to the world.  And is there anyway that you can make us all different colours and the Rainbow Serpent said “yes”, All you have to do is touch my scales and you will turn that colour.  And just then there was a big rush for her.  But there were some greedy ones. And they took more than one colour, especially the birds.

When everyone was finished, the only colour was left was black.  The Murri’s said what about us.  So the Rainbow Serpent said, I will make your black, the same colour as me.

So she went back down and prepared to die.  Because there was no oe to sing and dance to keep here alive.  She became very weak and she knew it was not going to be long before she died.

But the, she heard a faint sound and it was a song and then she felt a faint thump, then the sound got louder and the thump got stronger.  She realised she was getting stronger.  And when she got strong enough she went up agin to see what was happening.  Then she seen that there were different Murris, singing and dancing and that they were keeping her alive and now she lies underground with a big smile on here face and growing stronger everyday.

This is my story of the Rainbow Serpent

Copyright © Barry Tanner