Koobor the Koala and Water

Based on an Australian Aboriginal Legend

A long time ago, animals weren’t animals – they were people. Koobor the koala was a boy. His parents were dead and he lived with relatives in a very dry part of the country, where there was never enough water.

Everyone in the family was given water each evening, but Koobor was always given his drink last and he never thought it was enough.

“I’m still thirsty!” he cried, “I want more water.”

“Be quiet, Koobor” shouted his relatives. “You’re an orphan and we’ve given you a home. You should be grateful and take what you are given.”

If he complained again, they beat him and called him ungrateful.

When they were going out to look for food, they hid their water buckets so that Koobor couldn’t drink any more water.

Koobor learned how to take moisture from gum leaves, but it was never enough to stop him feeling thirsty.

One day when the relatives left Koobor alone and went to find food, they forgot to hide their water buckets. As soon as they were out of sight, he drank all the water his stomach could hold. For the first time he wasn’t thirsty, but his body swelled up like a balloon.

When the sun started to rest for the night, Koobor knew that his relatives would come back soon. They would beat him and take all the water and he would be thirsty again.

He collected all the water buckets and climbed into the branches of a small tree.

Then he sang a special song and the tree began to grow and grow, with Koobor sitting in the middle of it, holding the buckets.

His relatives came back hot and tired after searching for food all day. They could not find their water buckets or Koobor. Then they saw him in the tallest of all the trees, with water buckets hanging from the branches.

“Koobor, bring those buckets down now, or we will beat you” they cried. “No! I’m not coming down” shouted Koobor. “It’s your turn to be thirsty!”

Several men started to climb the tall tree, but Koobor threw the water buckets at them, knocking them to the ground.

Finally, two men managed to climb up, dodging the buckets. They grabbed Koobor, beat him very badly and threw him down.

His broken body smashed into the earth, where it changed into Koobor the Koala.

The animal climbed into a nearby tree and began munching gum leaves. Then he looked down at the people on the ground.

“From now on, you may kill me if you need food, but you must cook my body before you take off my skin or break my bones.

This is my law. If you don’t follow it, I will come back and dry up all the rivers and lakes and you will always be thirsty.”

This is why Koalas don’t need water to keep alive and why aborigines always follow Koobor’s law when cooking a dead koala. They are frightened that he will come back and take all their water, leaving them thirsty forever.

THE END

(Source from http://www.planetozkids.com)

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