Saturday, November 8, 2008

Fish Moon, Quilt by Pelé Fleming

A group of Aboriginal women from Arnhem Land swam across a channel to an island searching for food. One of their favorite foods was the purple water lily which grew in a lake. Suddenly, the rounded back of a large fish curved out of the water. The women ran to the edge of the lake where a rock hung over the water. A fish swam below the rock and a woman speared it. They built a fire to cook the fish. 

After a while, they looked at the stones in the fire and the fish was gone. It was half-way up the trunk, climbing upwards in the other direction. They watched it grow smaller as it reached the top. It didn’t stop; it was perfectly round. The women watched it as it sank behind the hills. They waited for night to arrive again to see if the fish would appear in the sky. 

The sun went down, and they knew the fish was coming long before they saw it because radiance was streaming across the eastern sky. It rose slowly, but it was a little smaller than it had been when it climbed the tree and escaped from the earth. It was no longer round but slightly flatted as though it had been lying on its side. Every night the fish made its long journey from east to west and grew smaller until after many nights, it was only a thin, curved sliver of light... and then it was gone.

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