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I remember a time when fairytales were fairytales. Times when children enjoyed childhood and a story well read at bedtime by a loving parent.

I remember when stories told to children were to soothe their little minds and create amusement and happiness as they closed their eyes and dreamt of magical creatures in far-off lands. 

I remember when children were sheltered from adulthood and encouraged to be happy, safe, content, and sure in the knowledge that fairy tales were fairy tales, not stories read by hairy fairies.

In America, it was no doubt about cowboys and Indians, heroes who served in the military, or tales of brave animals like Lassie.

In New Zealand, tales of giant Tanawha or in Scandanavia, trolls and brave goats who defeated the evil underneath the bridge. 

All around, the world, from the time of the Brothers Grimm and the wonderous stories from the pen of Hans Christian Andersen, children have been embraced by the joy and comfort of mythology wrapped up in a cosy blanket of make-believe.


Each tale had a moral. Sleeping Beauty woke from an evil spell because of love: not sexual abuse from an unwanted suitor. 

Please let us stop your nonsense and let children enjoy the magic of mythology, tradition and the Dreamtimes. Please let us enjoy their childhood and the wonder of Indigenous and Pioneer Culture, without a political lecture.


So, my article today for " I remember when... " is about the olden days when children read stories that were Fairy Tales, not tales read by hairy fairies. 

I hope you enjoy. 

Feel free to share it with your children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren. 



He has watched from his waterhole below the hill and above the sea. He has seen life come and he has seen life go.

Dhakkan, the Rainbow is a Spirit of many faces. He is blue for sadness and red for anger and yellow for tranquil or mauve for thinking. And, most importantly, he can be all these things at once.


Dhakkan can be a snake or a fish, or a fish and a snake, or a sleeping fish or a sleeping snake or a sleeping Spirit that was not anything at all except a Rainbow.

And that is as it should be.

When it rains he will slip from waterhole to waterhole and his People can see him passing because there is a Rainbow in the sky.

When it is dry, he sleeps in his waterhole and waits for the rain.

Sometimes, when Dhakkan is bored and playful, he will look for a man or an animal and say to the man or the animal “Go to sleep. Slumber here, by this waterhole and dream some dreams with me.” And the man, or the animal would sleep, and dream some dreams with Dhakkan.

While the sleep comes over the man or dog, Dhakkan will give crystals of life and joy and this man or dog would become Kundir – full of tricks and mischief and good and bad. Full of life and full of energy.

The crystals will make the dog appear like a rainbow, on earth. But not of this place.

It passes the time while Dhakkan waits for rain.

Now, one day, Dhakkan awoke from his slumber and was not happy.

The night before, he had seen a dog and invited it to lie down and sleep by his waterhole. He gave it the crystals and made it Kundir. Full of tricks and full of mischief and good and bad. Full of life and energy. It looked like a rainbow, on earth, but not of this place.

But, that night, there had been a fire. A fire that burned and killed his snakes and his animals and his trees and his grass and his land.


Now, Dhakkan does not like fire.

He knows that his waterhole would need to give of itself to keep the land from drying up and out and in.

The air smelled of fire and Life had left his place of magic.

Dhakkan awoke the dog that he had made full of crystals and said “Wake up! You must wake up now”

dingoThe Kundir dog woke up and sniffed the air.

What it smelled was not so good and not so full of life. Dhakkan said to the Kundir dog “Run, dig the earth and find some life.”

And, so,  the dog, full of crystals and fun and mischief and life and energy, ran and dug some holes to find some life.

He found some seeds and found some grass. He found some life and he found some things that would bring this back to how they were and how they should be.

Now, Dhakkan did not know that, on this day, there was a young man,  on the path, with his own dog, and on his hill.

The young man saw the fire and felt sad that all this land had died and gone to waste.

The man, so young, who had a dog saw his dog run to chase the fire away .

Dhakkan said to Kundir “ Run, and greet this dog and his man. Let him know that we are here to save this place.”

So Kundir ran and dug, to show the man, and his dog, that life was there and all would be the same.

Kundir sparkled, full of fire, full of light, full of hope – to let the man, and his dog, know that Dhakkan still took care.

As Kundir dug, and Dhakkan watched, the man and dog took fright and ran away.

But later on, seeds took sprout and Dhakkan smiled and knew – his crystal dog had dug up life and let the land renew.

Dhakkan, the Rainbow, lives in waterholes and uses crystals wisely.

If you ever see a rainbow, or a crystal beast, you will know that he is nearby, sleeping, watching and taking care of the land.

Kundir still roams the bush looking for seeds of life to dig up.

But remember, Dhakkan is full of mischief and Kundir is full of energy.

Take care when they are near.


Dhakkan, the Rainbow,  has lived in the land since time began.

He has watched from his waterhole below the hill and above the sea. He has seen life come and he has seen life go.

But he is always there, waiting, watching and taking care.

Story written by Feather Douglas. 15 years ago

Something soothing to play for your little ones from Malcolm.

 A dhakkan is a powerful rainbow-feathered serpent of gargantuan proportions that flies across the great deserts and oceans of the world. Many of them are generous and are known to lead humanoid tribes from oasis to oasis across the desert or from island to island across the sea. They are said to be polychromatic flying serpents of godlike power and are seen as the top of the totems of barbarian tribes. One could describe them as demigods who can bring fertility to the land. Dhakkan, the Rainbow,  has lived in the land since time began. source 

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