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Bew-Bew the Giant of the Dreamtime

Bew-Bew the Giant of the Dreamtime lived in a mud and stick home adjacent to the mudflats of north Goulburn Island. He had built his house in the shape of a cone, with no doors or windows, but a hole at the top. Entry was by a bush rope ladder. When he lit a fire on the floor of the hut the smoke rose, killing the mosquitoes which tried to enter.

Every day Bew-Bew went out hunting for Magpie Goose eggs and lily roots from the billabongs on the island. Whilst out hunting one day he saw two young girls walking towards him. They told him they were lost and asked him to guide them to their home. Instead, he took them to his cone-shaped hut and dropped them down through the hole, pulling up the ladder so that they had no means of escape. When he returned home that night the two girls pleaded with him to let them go, and began to cry when he raped one and then the other. This went on all night, and by dawn the young girls could hardly walk and became very sick.

Although Bew-Bew went out hunting that day and brought back succulent food, the women were too sick to eat it. Each day the giant brought back different types of food to tempt their appetites, but they refused to eat it. After a while they decided that they must escape at all costs. So the younger girl stood on the shoulders of her taller sister, and heaved herself through the hole, then pulled her up to safety.

When the sisters arrived back at their own camp, the people were very angry at the hurt which the giant had inflicted on them, and decided to lay a trap for him. They dug a deep pit and covered it with branches, paperbark and dirt. Bew-Bew came near the camp bellowing with rage and fell into the pit. He could not get out and was in great pain because of spears people hurled into this body. In desperation he picked up his huge penis and blew on it. The sound fascinated the men, and they tried to produce the same sound but could not. So they went into the bush and found hollow logs, which they blew through and the correct sounds came out. That is why Goulburn Island people compliment their didgeridoo players when they tell them that they play the wood instrument ‘as good as Bew-Bew’.

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