Crow is warned by magpie that the ‘great cold’ is coming and that they must seek shelter in the Cavern. ‘Everything had changed when Moon began fighting with Sun. Moon was jealous of Sun’s brilliant glow, she wanted to be the most dazzling light in the sky. But if Moon won her battle with Sun, there would be no more light on earth and everything outside the Cavern would freeze.’ (p 6)
Crow fears exposing her egg to the great cold, but then decides to carry the nest in her beak. At the Cavern she finds the entrance closed but a goanna appears and leads them to another entrance. Crow had promised goanna four feathers in return for his help, and goanna attaches the feathers to himself. Amazingly more feathers sprout, and goanna is able to fly! Baby Bird is born without feathers and becomes firm friends with goanna who flies baby bird around on his back. But the birds and animals still have a problem because sun and moon continue to argue. So goanna bird decides to fly high to the moon in order to sort things out. Baby bird hides in his wings and joins him on his successful journey.
Author Gladys Milroy’s novel draws on Palkyu stories told to her by her elders. Milroy was placed in a home at an early age and her own story was told in her daughter Sally Morgan’s book ‘My Place’. The author’s people’s country is Palkyu country, in the eastern Pilbara in the north west of Western Australia. Her concern for the environment is one of the book’s most pressing themes. This series, edited by Sally Morgan, is a research initiative between Fremantle Press and the School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia.
Series: Waarda series for young readers