The Snake that Bit the Sun This is a story they used to tell me. They told me the story about the sun and the snake that bites it up in the sky. This happened long before our time. Two of them lived in a cave, and one day one of them said to the other: “Let’s go and dive for waterlily roots, let’s all go”. The stars and the moon and the two suns. The adult mother sun and her little daughter sun went swimming; they dived under the water to get lily roots. Then the mother sun thought to herself, “I think I’d better climb up into the sky so I can bring light to them all in the land”. “What are you thinking about?” asked her daughter. “I’m going to climb up there” she replied. And so she started to climb up. There was a white cypress pine tree growing up into the sky, and when she tried to get past it she got stuck. Her rays were spread out around her as she tried to get past it, and she got stuck there. “I’ll go back then”, she thought, and she went back. She was coming back down when her daughter saw her. “What happened to you?” she asked. “There’s a cypress pine tree growing there and I couldn’t get past it” she told her daughter. “You try and climb up there”. So her daughter gathered up her rays and started climbing up into the sky. She came to the place where the Cyprus tree was standing. “Here’s the Cyprus tree” she thought. So she put her rays through first and climbed into the gap after them by herself. She emerged on the other side and picked up her rays again. She traveled on slowly until she met up with the king brown snake. And then they fought together. When the sun is hot, we say it’s midday, and they are fighting each other up there. He is hitting her, and she is hitting him back with a stick. He keeps on biting her. They go along together, locked in combat. Then the land starts to cool down, and we say she’s getting cold. She sinks lower and lower in the sky. Then evening comes and it gets cool, when he has been biting her and she is swollen with poison and in pain. Then she sinks down out of sight, and it’s night. That’s when night falls. Then from over the other side she rose up again in the morning. And they did it to each other all over again, when she rose up there in that time long ago. All the people say that it’s midday when the sun is hottest. They say that he is still biting her, and they are still fighting each other as they have done ever since that time long ago. They told this story to us, about what happened long before we were born. Then that big sun went back into her cave, and now it is her daughter, she is the one who shows us her light from up on high. From Worrorra Lalai: Worrorra Dreamtime Stories. Published by the Kimberley Language Resource Centre. Reproduction of this story with permission of Heather Umbagai.