SC 23 The Road to Mt Coonowrin
The Aboriginal Legend fo Glass House Mountains
It is said that Tibrogargan, the father, and Beerwah, the mother, had many children. Coonowrin the eldest, Beerburrum, the Tunbubudla twins, the Coochin twins, Ngungun, Tibberoowuccum, Miketebumulgrai, and Saddleback. There was Round who was fat and small and Wildhorse who was always paddling in the sea.
One day, Tibrogargan was gazing out to sea and noticed a great rising of the waters. Hurrying off to gather his younger children, in order to flee to the safety of the mountains in the west, he called out to Coonowrin to help his mother Beerwah, who was again with child.
Looking back to see how Coonowrin was assisting Beerwah, Tibrogargan was greatly angered to see him running off alone. He pursued Coonowrin and, raising his club, struck the latter such a mighty blow that it dislodged Coonowrin’s neck, and he has never been able to straighten it since.
When the floods had subsided and the family returned to the plains, the other children teased Coonowrin about his crooked neck. Feeling ashamed, Coonowrin went over to Tibrogargan and asked for his forgiveness, but filled with shame at his son’s cowardice, Tibrogargan could do nothing but weep copious tears, which, trickling along the ground, formed a stream that flowed into the sea. Then Coonowrin went to his brothers and sisters, but they also wept at the shame of their brother’s cowardice. The lamentations of Coonowrin’s parents and of his brothers and sisters at his disgrace explain the presence of the numerous small streams of the area.
Tibrogargan then called to Coonowrin, asking him why he had deserted his mother. Coonowrin replied that as Beerwah was the biggest of them all she should be able to take care of herself. He did not know that she was again pregnant, which was the reason for her great size. Then Tibrogargan turned his back on his son and vowed that he would never look at him again.
Even today Tibrogargan gazes far out to sea and never looks around at Coonowrin, who hangs his head and cries, his tears running off to the sea. His mother Beerwah is still heavy with child, as it takes a long, long time to give birth to a mountain.