An Indigenous Australian Dreamtime Story: The Legend of How the Kangaroo Got Its PouchBy
A blind wombat begged for help from the side of the road. “Please! I am thirsty and hungry and I am blind. I need help.” First a dingo came by, then an emu, then other animals, but none stopped to help.
Finally a mother kangaroo came by. In those days animals did not have pouches, so she carried her baby in her arms. She let the wombat ride on her tail, and took him on a wild ride to reach a billabong, which is a pool where the wombat would be comfortable. But then hunters came! The kangaroo led the hunters on a wild chase to draw them away from the wombat. During the chase, she lost her baby and couldn’t find it. That night, when the hunters were gone, she returned to the wombat, weeping.
In the morning, the wombat woke her, and he had her healthy baby in his arms. He took a piece of bark and laid it across her belly, and the bark turned into a pouch. He confessed he was not a wombat, but the Creator. He said she had acted so selflessly that he wanted to gift her with a pouch to hold her baby, so she would never lose it again.
The mother kangaroo asked if other kangaroos might have a pouch as well—she even wanted koalas and opossums and many other animals to have pouches too! And because she was always thinking of others, the Creator granted her request.