The story of
Luina - The Blue Wren

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The Tasmanian Aboriginal Story, Luina - The Blue Wren, tells the story behind this beautiful bird's appearance.

Moihernee was the god who ruled over the whole land. He and his brother Dromerdeene had quarrelled. One day Dromerdeene decided to visit the Earth and make up with his brother.

Gentle Dromerdeene was not aware that Moihernee had two powerful beasts protecting him. When the beasts saw Dromerdeene, they pounced on him straight away. They did not know that this was Moihernee's brother on a peacemaking mission.

The beasts gave poor Dromerdeene a thorough bashing. Close to death, he was then flung by the beasts against the trunk of a big gum tree. The beasts left with the intention of returning later to finish off Dromerdeene. As they left, they discussed their plans to kill Dromerdeene.

They were overheard by a tiny grey bird who was up in the gum tree. The bird was very alarmed and decided to help Dromerdeene. It flew down to Dromerdeene and tried to revive him. It called out to him. It gently tugged, pecked, and scratched. It even fluttered its wings, but to no avail. Dromerdeene did not move.

Finally the bird got on to Dromerdeene's shoulder. It hid in his hair while keeping watch for the returning beasts.

As soon as the bird spotted the beasts, it flew at them and began to attack them, hoping to protect Dromerdeene. It was doing quite well fighting against the beasts. Eventually though, one of the beasts threw it against the trunk of the big gum tree.

And now Dromerdeene began to wake up. By this time, other bush creatures had also arrived on the scene, intent on helping in the battle against the beasts. They were able to keep the beasts off Dromerdeene. Even Tara, the gum tree joined in by pouring down gumnuts on the beasts. And then something amazing happened. A bright shining star came down and picked up Dromerdeene carrying him safely away.

Angrily, the beasts stomped off.

Dromerdeene was very grateful to all the bush creatures who had helped him, particularly the tiny grey bird, Tara and the bright shining star.

Dromerdeene told the star that from then on, it would shine even bigger and brighter. It would be the first star to be seen after the sun set. The star was named Romtena, the Evening Star.

To Tara, Dromerdeene said that from that time forward, the tree would wear a cloak of blue, like the sky. The leaves of the tree began to give off a blue glow.

Finally Dromerdeene looked at the tiny grey bird. He picked it up and blew gently on it. Dromerdeene told Luina that it would always have bright black eyes as a sign of the bird's strength and courage. Around its head, the ring of black showed that it was never afraid. The bird's tail changed into a fan of feathers. Dromerdeene said that this new tail would be a sign that the bird was strong and free. The crown of the bird's head became a beautiful blue in colour. Dromerdeene declared that this would be noticed and admire by all the bush creatures.

And this is why Luina (or the blue wren) has its beautiful appearance.

Source of information on this page:
Taraba: Tasmanian Aboriginal Stories, Hobart, DECCD, 1

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