Mother Frog’s Storms (An Australian Legend)
Long ago in Australia, there lived an enormous green frog. The people called her Quork-Quork. She lived peacefully for many years, but always wished to have children.
One day Quork-Quork gave birth to a child. Filled with joy, she named her daughter Bumerali and loved the girl with all her heart. She looked after her with great care. When Quork-Quork gave birth to her second daughter, she named her Pakadringa and showered both her children with the same deep love and kindness. When Tomituka, her third child, was born, Quork-Quork rejoiced anew.
Quork-Quork spent her days and nights teaching her daughters all that she knew. She introduced them to the sky, to the trees, to the sun and moon and stars. She led them through the twists and turns of the landscape. She taught them the seasons and the scents and introduced them to every creature.
Never once did she complain or grow weary. Instead, she croaked to all who would listen, “Here are my wonderful daughters. Love them as I do.”
As Quork-Quork’s daughters grew, so did their powers. Soon she realized that she had extraordinary children.
Numerals, the eldest, grew bright and flashy. She became Lightning-child, for she was bold, and whenever anyone tried to injure a green frog, Bumerali’s eyes would flare, shining as brightly as the summer sun. “Do not harm the frogs,” she would croak. Lightning would flash to the ground, burning a path of warning across the sky.
The moment lightning struck the earth, Pakadringa, a wild, boisterous girl, began to roar and shout so all the world could hear. She became Thunder-child, and people spoke admiringly of her powerful voice, a voice stronger than any other’s.
Tomituka, the youngest child, was most often soft and gentle, and she became Rain-child. But when Pakadringa roared with anger, Tomituka would send torrential rains to pour upon the earth. The rain would fall so long and hard, pounding the land with all its might, that the countryside would fill with water.
“Take care of the green frogs,” the people warned. “Quork-Quork’s daughters watch over them.”
By then the daughters had risen to the sky, where they worked their magic.
During the wet season, Quork-Quork loved to hop from place to place along the damp ground. She puffed out her chest and smiled happily. As she hopped, she looked up with pride at her daughters who sailed across the sky in great white clouds.
Quork-Quork’s children watched over their mother just as she had watched over them in childhood. Whenever people saw Quork-Quork on the ground, they knew her daughters would be up above, ready to strike if need be.
Quork-Quork was proud of her children, though she cautioned them to use their powers wisely. And so they did. When Quork-Quork heard rain falling in torrents, and when thunderstorms raged and roared, and when lightning tore trees into splinters, Quork-Quork knew her daughters were above, watching over all creatures.
When the wet season ended and the clouds drifted away, the daughters went away to rest. They traveled to a land known as Tuniruna, a place way beyond the Milky Way. There they would restore themselves, preparing for another year.
While her children rested, Quork-Quork rested, too. She slept peacefully in the damp crevices of rocks or inside moist, warm hollows in the trees.
She awoke when she heard Pakadringa’s roar, when she saw Bumerali’s flash when she felt the damp touch of her beloved Tomituka. Then she would climb from her hiding place, croaking with all her strength, calling out to her children, who remember and give thanks for their mother’s love.