How The Goanna Got His Name and more art by Clancy McK

How The Goanna Got His Name, 2020
26 x 30 x 3 cm (h x w x d)
Painting on paper

How The Goanna Got His Name
By Clancy McK

One warm Spring afternoon
all the Wangkumara people were
gathering together for a Hunting Dance.
All the tribespeople sat around in a big group
while the warriors danced
before they began their hunt.

When the dance stopped,
the warriors raced off and
ran through the people and all the kids.
There were lots of shouts, laughter and
claps as the warriors left.

Aunt Lucy got up to gather all the women
to get the fire started.
Then they could go and gather
all the yams and veggies for the Big Feast
for when the men come back from the hunt.

Aunt Lucy began to put the women
in groups of two
so that they could collect
different types of veggies and berries.

When all the women were grouped up,
Aunt Lucy chose her niece, Anna,
and told her how they would find
the berries and yams.

When they arrived to the middle
of an open patch of ground,
Aunt Lucy pointed at some rocks and told
Anna that there would be some berries there.
“Go see if you can find some,
while I dig yams here.”

Anna started to walk towards the rock
and as she got closer she could see
a small bush full of berries,
hanging over a rock.

There was a pothole divot
in front of the bush.
Anna just sat herself down
on the edge of the hole
while she picked the berries.

All she could see in the pothole
were two big eyes looking at her.
Anna screamed with fright.
She got up and took two steps backwards.
When she looked at her basket and
saw that it wasn’t full, she decided to wait
a couple of seconds until she hoped
that what was in the hole would be gone.
Then she could fill her basket and
that way Aunt Lucy wouldn’t get cranky.

After a few moments Anna started
to pick the berries again.
Just as she was managing to fill her basket,
a big lizard stuck his head out of the hole through
the bush, snapping his teeth at Anna’s arm.
She got up screaming and yelling
for Aunt Lucy to help her.

Aunt Lucy was still digging
her yams and wild veggies and
she looked up to see
what the yelling was about and saw that
Anna was being chased by a big lizard,
dust flying up from them both.

All Aunt Lucy could do was yell
And that’s how the goanna got his name.

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