The Mysterious Dingo
Dingoes defy zoological categorization. Neither domesticated nor fully feral, the offspring of dogs in Australia go their own way.
Dingoes are deeply rooted in Australian culture. In traditional Aboriginal tales of the so-called Dreamtime, about the creation of the world and society, animals are often equated with humans who possess supernatural powers and embody important moral principles. Regardless of their cultural significance, the evolutionary origin of dingoes has remained a mystery to this day.
Several Dreamtime stories are linked to specific landscape elements. One is about an old man named Ilbad who is camping in the Australian bush with his two children, boy Aidjumala and girl Maidjuminmag. After catching and eating a monitor lizard, they go to sleep. But the children are still hungry and chew on the bones, so that the crunching wakes their father. He throws a stick at them, cursing. In doing so, he hits Maidjuminmag's arm and breaks it; the girl is crying. Ilbad now hurls a club at Aidjumala; the boy howls like a dog. The two children run away; the old man can't catch up with them to tell them how sorry he is.
The children then turn into dogs (or dingoes, as it was probably called in the original version). They rest for a while under a large banyan tree, dig a deep water hole and wallow in it. They leave the place and decide that from now on the waterhole should serve as a source for people, including their father.
The story of Aidjumala and Maidjuminmag is part of a myth that tells of the couple's further adventures…