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The Kangaroos’ Tails

The Kangaroos’ Tails

The Kangaroos’ Tails is a legend from Oceania.

In the early days of Dreamtime, there were two kangaroos. Little kangaroo came from the hills and was small with short arms and short legs. Big kangaroo was from the plains and had long arms and long legs. They did not have tails.

One day, as he was roaming around the plains, little kangaroo reached into a hole in the rock and when he pulled out his paw it was covered in honey. He licked the golden bush honey. It was delicious. Big kangaroo, who had also come to look around for food, saw this and he fancied some honey for himself. Little kangaroo said generously, ‘Reach in and get some.’

Big kangaroo thrust his long arms deep into the hole and pulled out a handful of spiders! He was very angry and disappointed.

‘Try again,’ said little kangaroo. He felt pity for big kangaroo.

Big kangaroo thrust his paws into the hole, but again he pulled out only spiders. In the meanwhile, little kangaroo kept reaching his short paws just inside the hole and pretty soon he had eaten all the honey.

Big kangaroo was furious. He thought little kangaroo was tricking him. He grabbed a stick and hit little kangaroo on the head with it. Little kangaroo grabbed a bigger stick and hit him back. Even though he was small, little kangaroo had good aim.

Big kangaroo ran off but little kangaroo threw his stick again, and its point stuck into the back of big kangaroo. The stick did not fall away, and became the tail of big kangaroo. Big kangaroo was really angry and threw a stick too. It stuck point-first into the back of little kangaroo. This stick also did not fall away, and became the tail of little kangaroo.

The kangaroos were surprised at this new appendage they had on their body. They both decided enough was enough and took back into their own country.

Now when you see kangaroos from the hills and plains, you will know how they got their tails.

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