"When they bin lying under that boab tree that big doomboony [owl], he bin' staring at those boys, looking at them straight. It made them wild and they started to throw stones up at that doomboony. One of them hit him in the eye, and that owl flew up. Those boys watched him go up – right up, up, up in the sky until there was a big rain cloud. Those boys shouldn’t have touched those ants."
Shirley was told this story her by her mother and grandmother from around Chamberlain River.
Some boys were sleeping under a boab tree. They woke and found the tasty ants the old men had hidden and ate them. When they saw the owl watching, the boys threw stones. The owl created a storm. The boab tree opened and the boys went inside for shelter. Then the boab tree closed on the boys and sank into the ground.
"Now you can see – like bones – white stones at the bottom of the waterhole where those bones of those boys bin' turn into white, white rocks. There were four of those young boys, they were all going through the second law at that time."
Courtesy of Warmun Art