How the Kangaroo Got Her Pouch: Story & Legend

Instructor: Danielle Reed

Danielle works in digital marketing and advertising. She holds a bachelor's degree in English and an MBA.

In this lesson we cover the legend of ''How the Kangaroo Got Her Pouch'' and how the legend was a part of the oral tradition in Australia. Read this summary to learn the legend of the kangaroo's pouch.

The Story of How the Kangaroo Got Her Pouch

Much like Western culture has Aesop's Fables, Australians have a number of tales which are a part of their culture. According to an old Aboriginal legend, the kangaroo wasn't born with its pouch. The kangaroo is native to Tasmania and Australia, and legend has it that it got its pouch because of its kindness and goodness.

Before reading the story below, it's important to know that the god Baiame was considered the Creator God and Sky Father by the Aborigines.

Summary of the Story

One day a kangaroo was playing with her joey (baby kangaroo). She saw an elderly wombat that was struggling to find food. Upon further inspection, she found out the wombat was blind. The wombat was all alone and told the kangaroo he was overlooked, lonely, and abandoned. The kangaroo decided to help the wombat. She left her joey behind, told the wombat and her joey to hold on to her tail, and took him to the place where the grass was the tallest. The wombat was thankful and immediately felt much better. The kangaroo felt a kinship to the wombat, and they began to talk. Suddenly, the kangaroo realized her joey had wandered off while they were talking! She frantically searched for him and found him sitting under a gum tree.

Once the kangaroo had found her joey, she then went back to the wombat and found an aboriginal hunter who was poised to attack him. The hunter had his boomerang at the ready. The kangaroo decided to make a lot of noise and get the eye of the hunter. After stomping and hopping, the hunter's attention flipped to the kangaroo. She did her best to hop away and was fully prepared for the hunter's attack, if this meant saving her joey and the wombat. She hopped away from them and went to hide in a cave, ready to be found. The kangaroo heard the hunter pass her by, and was sure he would see her footprints, but he never found her. As soon as she could, the kangaroo left her hiding place and went back to her new friend and her joey. The joey was there but the wombat had gone. The kangaroo wished him the best.

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