Great Australian Authors #34 - Katherine Susannah Prichard


Katherine Susannah Prichard (1883 - 1969)

Coonardoo was singing. Sitting under dark bushes overhung with curly white blossom, she clicked two small sticks together, singing:

"Towera chinima poodinya,
Towera jinner mulbeena...."

Over and over again, in a thin reedy voice, away at the back of her head, the melody flowed like water running over smooth pebbles in a dry creek bed. Winding and falling, the words rattled together and flew eerily, as if she were whispering to herself, exclaiming, and in awe of the kangaroos who came over the range and made a dance with their little feet in the twilight before they began to feed.
"Towera chinima poodinya,
Towera jinner mulbeena,
Poodinyoober mulbeena."

("Kangaroos coming over the range in the twilight, and making a devil dance with their little feet, before they begin to feed.")

It was no more than a twitter in the shadow of dark bushes near the veranda; a twitter with the clicking of small sticks. Coonardoo was not supposed to be there at all. Everybody was asleep in the long house of mud bricks and corrugated iron, and under the brushwood sheds beyond the kala miah. But Coonardoo did not want to sleep.

From Coonardoo by Katherine Susannah Prichard

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on November 30, 2006 8:37 AM.

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