Bunyip Whispers in The Dreamtime

© Suzanna Joy


Chapter 3

Glasshouse Mountains

(BUSH OCCASIONAL CAR & PLANE) (BREEZE THROUGHOUT)

Narrator:

The Mother Mountain, squatting huge and pregnant spoke to Tibrogargan.

Beerwah:

This gestation period is taking forever.

Narrator:

A small stream had sprung up, and ran down between her lumpy, rocky outcrops. The mica in her eyes twinkled from the grey-green lichen covered rocks filmed with water, set deep in her massive hollow face. She was listening to what her husband had to say.

Tibrogargan:

(IN A CONFIDENTIAL TONE) We've had upheaval and change since the beginning of our time. The dinosaurs were here for ages, but the earth spirits couldnít tolerate them! They became too successful and outlived their welcome. Oh, yes asteroids, floods and ash wiped out the dinosaurs. I feel it deep in my lurking labyrinths. Methinks we are coming to the end of another era. Watch out for falling rocks!

Bunyip whispered many things to me that she overheard from one of the koalas. It makes me worry at what the humans are doing to the forests embroidering my slopes.

Beerwah:

(TRYING TO UNDERSTAND WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT) Are you talking about the Bunya tree?

Ole Tib:

No that's a pine. You know Bunyip, the strange creature?

Beerwah:

(CONFUSED)Whatta you mean?

Ole Tib:

Well, Bunyip talks to the koalas when they are awake. She comes and meditates long, on my mountainsides and I hear her. She has a great deal of concern for the koalas.

(BREEZE SOUND CHANGES NOTICEABLY)

Narrator:

The breeze wafted over Beerwah like a gentle sigh.

Beerwah:

They are funny cuddly lil things.

Ole Tib

Their closest living relative is the Wombat.

Beerwah

(SURPRISED) Huh?

Narrator

Beerwah almost popped in her surprise.

Ole Tib

Humans call it Ďbiodiversityí, part of the immense number of differences on this planet.

Beerwah

(ECHO UNCERTAINLY) Bio...?(IRRITATED) Now you are really confusing me!(REALLY ANNOYED NOW) I canít take anymore.

Narrator

Tibrogargan worried that she might quake the land.

Ole Tib

(REASSURING) Don't think about that now, Momma Beerwah. Concentrate on the koala troop.

Beerwah

Well, I know they are fussy eaters. They are hardly ever awake. (GENTLE MOAN) I wish that we all could sleep like they do, the little beauties. Small furry, quiet packages that sleep 23 out of the 24 hours and then rush about looking for what they need.

Ole Tib

Their consciousness is different to ours. People say that the leaves they eat are like a drug, but it is simply their unique way of life: that biodiversity again. Those lovely leaves, ah! You know that they eat the little leaves of a particular swweeeet eucalyptus?

Beerwah

(AGREEING)They taste exquisite I believe.

Ole Tib

Huh? Well the chief koala says the numbers of their tribe have dwindled because they don't have enough of their favourite type of tree anymore. Those ones with the special leaves.

(TRAIN SOUND BUILDS UP FROM THE DISTANCE)

Narrator

The earth shuddered slightly.

Beerwah

(UNCERTAIN)What's happening?

Narrator

Tib paused till the distant train had passed, before commenting:

Ole Tib

(SADLY)I know the bad feeling, deep down, shaking me to my depths. Too many humans! Thatís what it is.

About six thousand years ago Eve gave Adam a fire stick instead of an apple reversing the forward progress of the evolution.

Beerwah

A fire stick? There you go again! What are you talking about?

Ole Tib

A weapon, a gun, something to shoot with. Now it has become a sex symbol and they don't know where to stop or how.

(ROCKS GRINDING AND SLITHERING)

Narrator:

Tibrogargan gave a little landslide.

Beerwah

(MUTTERING HALF TO HERSELF) Daddy Tib and I don't like what's goiní on. But I like some of them. They have babies like my twins.

Narrator

Momma Beerwah gazed proudly across at the little Glasshouse Mountains Ngun Ngun and Coochin.

Ole Tib

Yes some of them are good. Let me show you one right now. I want you to take a look at the human down there in one of those old houses. You know the homesteads standing like a mangrove, with wooden pillars and room underneath for the floodwaters to flow through. They hang out the washing underneath when it rains. Look! There is a great paper bark tree in the garden.

Her father built the house. That man knew how to build! He was a woodsman from the icy North, and came from far away in foreign parts.

Beerwah

Well that must've cost a few trees!

Ole Tib

Yes, but he always replanted as fast as he cut down, so the balance of nature was not affected.

Anyway, let me tell you about this young lady. She has a spiritual spark in her consciousness like no other.

The original source gave it to her so that we can use her to change the course of destiny here. It will make me feel a bit better. (SADLY) Thereís not much I can do about young Coonowrin.

Beerwah:

(HURRIEDLY INTERUPTS)What can the bunyip do about it?

Narrator

Beerwah was keen to keep the conversation away from the painful subject of the past. Tibrogargan still felt guilty about his son whom he had injured, and could not look at him.

Ole Tib

She can act as a mediator. It won't be hard to talk to a young adult like Anna, who has spent much of her time on her own since her mother died. The mother was rather fond of the port and didn't have time for the girl. That wasn't really her fault, either. It was due to some really painful things that happened during her own childhood. The mother had a father who was a very hard man, and the drought played havoc with his temper. That's the way the misery gets handed on generation after generation. Anna was isolated and learned to be close to the koalas and great white and purple herons. She was blessed from birth and hardly knows fear, unlike most of those spiritually poor humans down there, who are driven by it.

Beerwah

(SADLY BUT WITH COMPASSION) Seems to me that is the problem, Ole Tib. The rushing, I mean. Their fear makes them rush. Out there making so many plans for the Ďfutureí. They don't see what is happening in the here and now. The paradox is why they come here! They come here because it IS so pristine. Then they rubbish it. I heard one of them call it the Garden of Eden. (STARTS WHINING) The baddest of them is simply the most fearful and strong. Like my poor Coonowrin who is still crying rivers down to the sea.

Ole Tib

(GROAN) Why, maybe even he can dry up if no one can address this problem. Bunyip whispers more bad news.

The Paroo is the last wild river in the Murray Darling System. In over a quarter of Australia's rivers the fish are losing the fight for life. This is due to the removal of the indigenous plants during the past decade and permanent clearing of our vegetation. People take away and donít put back. They donít realize what they are doing. All that green stuff has been sucking up the carbon dioxide since time began.

Narrator

Mistress Beerwah spoke with discomfort. A storm was brewing.

Beerwah

I keep getting stuck in this time zone, it's disturbing me. I want to hurry up and have this baby, but the bunyip is holding us up here. We've got stuff to sort. What are we going to do about it?

Ole Tib

(REASSURING)Hmm, donít you worry sweet Mummy. Bunyip can handle the problem. Your husband has taken care of everything.

(BOARDFADE)