The Moon’s Demand and the Daens’ Defiance

Bahloo the Moon and the Daens

Bahloo the Moon and the Daens An Aboriginal Legend

The enthralling Aboriginal legend of Bahloo the moon and his serpentine companions, a tale deeply woven with the threads of cultural beliefs and natural symbolism. This story tells of the mystical interactions between Bahloo and the indigenous daens, illustrating a profound narrative on obedience, mortality, and the natural order. Through its vivid portrayal of the moon’s wrath and the earthly fears of the daens, this tale offers a glimpse into the spiritual and moral lessons cherished by Australia’s Indigenous peoples.

Australian Legendary Tales

Anthology of 31 folklore stories from the Noongahburrah tribe of New South Wales

  • Will educate and fascinate readers across a broad spectrum of ages.
  • Cultural heritage of Indigenous Australians from the late 19th century.

Purchase your eBook copy of Australian Legendary Tales and start exploring these enchanting stories wherever you are. Buy now and begin your journey through Australia’s rich indigenous heritage.

A Twisted Tale

One bright moonlit night, Bahloo the moon peered down at the earth, seeking any signs of movement during the time he typically played with his three “dogs” – the death adder, black snake, and tiger snake. The earthlings, however, simply called them snakes. 

As Bahloo surveyed the land with his slithering companions beside him, he spotted a group of daens, or indigenous people, attempting to cross a creek. “Halt!” he commanded. “I require you to transport my dogs to the other side.”

The daens, despite their fondness for Bahloo, were wary of his pets. These “dogs” were known to bite not only the earth-dwelling dingos but also the daens themselves, often with lethal consequences. Respectfully, they declined, explaining, “We cannot, Bahloo. The risk is too great; your snakes’ venom is fatal to us, unlike our own dogs‘ bites.”

Bahloo made them an intriguing offer. “If you assist me, when your time comes, you shall not perish eternally. Watch.” He tossed a piece of bark into the creek, and it resurfaced, floating. “Just like this bark, you will rise again after sinking. Refuse, and you’ll share the fate of this stone.” He hurled a rock into the water, and it plummeted to the creek bed.

Yet the daens, paralyzed by fear, could not comply. Bahloo, determined to prove the snakes’ harmlessness, descended with the creatures coiled around his arms and neck. He carried them across the creek himself.

On the other side, Bahloo lifted a large stone and cast it into the depths, decreeing, “Cowardly daens, by defying my request, you have forfeited the chance to rise again after death. Like this stone, you will remain where you are laid, becoming one with the earth. Had you obeyed, you could have died and resurrected as frequently as I do. But now, you will merely be daens in life and bones in death.”

Bahloo’s anger and the snakes’ menacing hisses convinced the daens to flee, grateful to escape their presence. From that moment, the people detested Bahloo’s “dogs” and vowed to slay them whenever they were caught alone.

In response, Bahloo sent more snakes, declaring, “As long as there are daens, there shall be snakes to haunt them for their disobedience to me.” And so, the daens forever remained mortal, doomed to an eternal end, while the snakes multiplied as a lasting symbol of their defiance against the moon’s command. Obedience, it seems, is the key to immortality.