Jackie's Booklikes

Insights for the Booksites - reading mostly for my own pleasure


The Bat by Jo Nesbo ~ An Australian Creation Story

The Bat - Jo Nesbø

The bat is the Aboriginal symbol of death supposedly, and an aborigine man, Toowoomba, killed Inger Holter. I liked the explanation of the bat symbol. It comes from an interesting parallel to the Adam and Eve's story of creation the aborigines call The Dreaming.


An Australian Creation Story ~ The Dreaming


The first man was Ber-rook-boorn. He was made by Baiame, the uncreated, who was the beginning of everything, and who loved and took care of all living things. Friends called him the Great Fatherly Spirit. After Baiame established Ber-rook-boorn and his wife in a good place, he left his mark on a sacred tree~yarran~ nearby, which was the home of a swarm of bees.


"You can take food from anywhere you want, in the whole of this country that I have given you, but this is my tree," he warned the two people. "If you try to take food from there, much evil will befall you and those who come after you." One day Ber-rook-boorn's wife was collecting wood and she came to the yarran tree. At first she was frightened at the sight of the holy tree towering above her, but there was so much wood lying around that she did not follow her first impulse ! which was to run away as fast as her legs could carry her.Besides, Baiame had not said anything about wood.


While she was gathering the wood around the tree she heard a low buzzing sound above her head, and she gazed up at the swarm of bees. She also saw the honey running down the trunk. She had only tasted honey once before, but here there was enough for several meals. The sun glistened on the sweet, shiny drops, and in the end Ber-rook-boorn's wife could not resist the temptation and she climbed up the tree.


'At that moment a cold wind came from above and a sinister figure with enormous black wings enveloped her. It was Narahdarn the bat, whom Baiame had entrusted with guarding the holy tree. The woman fell to the ground and ran back to her cave where she hid. But it was too late, she had released death into the world, symbolised by the bat Narahdarn, and all of the Ber-rook-boorn descendants would be exposed to its curse. The yarran tree cried bitter tears over the tragedy that had taken place. The tears ran down the trunk and thickened, and that is why you can find red rubber on the bark of the tree nowadays.'