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The Legend of the Three Sisters

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In Australia, the mysterious Blue Mountains rise high above lush rainforests and deep valleys. In the area where lived the Gundungurra people, there rises an outcrop topped by three rocky formations, known as The Three Sisters. This is the story of how they came to be there.

Long, long ago, the mystical land of Gondwana was beautiful, peaceful and untouched. In Gondwana, there lived Tyawan, a Clever Man of the Gundungurra people. He had three daughters called Meenhi, Wimlah and Gunnedoo, whom he treasured above all else.

In a deep hole in the valley there lived a Bunyip, a huge evil creature who loved to feast on human flesh, particularly that of young girls and women. Its cry was harsh and horrible and if you heard it, the only safe thing to do was run away as quickly as possible. Everyone feared the Bunyip.

If you needed to pass its hole, it was important to creep very quietly so that it was not disturbed.

When Tyawan had to pass the hole, he would leave his daughters safely on the cliff above behind a rocky wall – just in case!

One day, waving goodbye to his daughters, he descended the cliff steps down towards the path near the Bunyip’s hole. While the girls were waiting and chatting on top of the cliff, a huge centipede suddenly appeared. Startled, Meenhi screamed, jumped up, picked up a stone and threw it at the centipede.

The stone missed the centipede, but rolled over the edge of the cliff and, picking up speed, crashed into the valley below. The sound echoed all around the mountains. Birds, animals and even fairies stopped still as the rocks behind the three sisters, shook and split open, leaving them perched together on a thin ledge.

The Bunyip, angry at being awakened, roared and dragged himself through the split to see the terrified sisters cowering on the ledge. His evil eyes widened in delight at the feast before him.

Tyawan looked up and saw the Bunyip reaching for his daughters, so he pointed his magic bone at the girls and immediately turned them to stone. They would be safe there until the Bunyip had gone and then Tyawan would change them back to their former selves.

But the Bunyip, angered at being deprived of his prey, chased Tyawan through the forest and up a mountain where he found himself trapped. So Tyawan used his magic bone again and changed himself into a Lyre Bird and glided away. Everyone was safe. But then, in dismay, Tyawan realised that he had dropped his bone whilst changing.

After the Bunyip had gone back to his deep dark pool, Tyawan glided down to the forest floor and searched and searched for his magic bone ... where he can still be seen to this day, in the shape of the Lyre bird, scratching and searching the forest floors of the Blue Mountains, looking for his bone, calling to his daughters above and feeding on insects whilst he searches.

The Three Sisters stand silently watching him from their ledge, hoping and hoping that one day their father will find his magic bone and be able turn them back to Aboriginal girls.

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