Setowa Wudu Nuwu Ŋedane (The Story of Nuwu)
Taken from a retelling of an Australian Aboriginal fable found in Aboriginal Myths, Legends, and Fables by A. W. Reed, ©1993, Reed New Holland. No tribal provenance given. I have, of course, changed the tale.
Tene setowa wudu cumu ŋedane, sedetoda Nuwu bede wudune. Sonoda basanu teneto wunnuda kadonu.
Gehe canno notatomo goli sedewape nikiyele dinine, deyetoda goli sedetoteda ŋehetepene. Callotoda, yennadana ŋene goli sede sede dullole, dodu kadde kadde nolemona gohogoho nune callo canno sede dullodanace. Hadahada wusu ŋehetepene sedetoda, kiŋi nune kaddetoda deyewa wosodu. Hadahada wune goli sedetoda ŋehetepene. Yeppomo yana muŋi yennisi yana yette gimi yana goso mudukibi yana todu kunotodanu wosape.
Datatobe luwu ŋebe kini xodu xebe wososu. Goli wune da-datobe calatepe gogotepe lakatepebe. Xokesu nolekopa Nuwu dunnotosanu, tannatanna datosa luwudu.
“Kuno deye dullodice gone?” setosamo Nuwumo. Setodabe Nuwuda, “Ba! Kunolego ŋidi ŋewadu.” Setosamo, “Cala nolo nome dullodice nolekopadi luwusu?” “Kunolenu ŋidi ŋewadu.” Setosamo, “Kunodinu hadahada mudu kele todu. Nolekopadi luwusu cala nolo nome wodice, todu kuno kuttalenu wodosu.” Se-kuttatodabe Nuwuda, “Todudu da-seppedi, da! Todu noye nomelalenu ŋewadu, todu noye nome wolalenu wekebe kaddewowa ŋedu!”
Xosape siŋi yegi mededu luwu ŋesa datosa. Mede yegi wodusu nolo sedetosa, dunnotodabe callowa Nuwuda. Kibi wono todu medepe kunotosanu yettene, todu tene deyetosanu ŋewa haŋŋidu. Wosape se-noyetosanu ximi kelekede wudune.
Wudu wudu noloto, xosodu keyodo yana todu kuttatonu, lada tenetene todu deggu kanneto. Tadatada gada data noyeto, laka lakodu Nuwuda datoda. Deni gada tana nolo noyeto, noleko todu deggu nolo kanneto. Gada tana noloto laka haŋŋisu. Yeppomo yana muŋi yennisi yana yette gimi yana goso mudu kele yana todu kuno kanneto. Gada tana noloto, laka kuno kanneto.
Mede wodupe wodudu tannatanna datoda Nuwuda, nolo seppetomo yegi wodusu. Deni gada tana noloto, Nuwu kuno kanneto. Luwu ŋesa xokedu deyedeyewa sadosadoda Nuwu wudu sada cammetosanu.
Nuwu paca Nuwu ŋepe noye kanneto, nuwunuwu tenetene wodane se-tene tosese.
This is the story of a man, he had the name Nuwu. His head was bad and his tongue, rough.
He felt less and less happy dwelling with neighbors, and so he went away in order to dwell with nobody. He thought, I can continue to dwell with these people, that I come and assist them with all kinds of things they can continue to expect of me. Before leaving, he was alone several times, and he did what he wanted. Through several time periods, he dwelt solitary. Afterwards he had many spears, many knives, many baskets, and many skin rugs.
Then one night a star came down to earth. He wandered for a long time cold, hungry, and shelterless. He saw in the distance the light of Nuwu’s campfire, and quickly he went to it.
He said to Nuwu, “Will you give me food?” Nuwu said, “No. I have only enough food for myself.” He said, “Will you allow me to become warm at your campfire?” “There is only enough for myself.” He said, “You have several fine rugs. You do not allow me to get warm at your campfire, (so) I will take one.” Nuwu shouted, “Stay away from those! I made those for myself and not for lazy people who do nothing.”
The star went from there to a tall smooth tree. He was climbing the smooth trunk of the tree while wondering Nuwu watched him. He took a large piece of bark from the tree with a knife, and put it around himself. Then he started to sing magic.
The wind increased, and pushed there many storm clouds there, and the whole sky was covered. Rain began to fall, and Nuwu went into the shelter. The river began to overflow and more and more of the campsite was covered. It overflowed around the shelter. The many spears, the many knives, the many baskets, and the many fine rugs were taken. It overflowed and the shelter was taken.
Nuwu went quickly from tree to tree, and failed to climb the smooth trunks. The river overflowed and Nuwu was taken. The star listened to Nuwu’s voice fading into the distance.
Nuwu was changed into an owl, speaking mournfully even now, so they say.