A Celestial Calendar
Marpeankurric, was a clever woman who live in the mallee forests of southern Australia many thousands of years ago.
Marpeankurric was in the bush looking for her food. Her people were starving. It had not rained for a long, long time. Rivers and billabongs had disappeared, the bul-rushes had shrivelled up and died! She lifted up logs but could find no lizards or snakes. She looked around and saw that there were also no grass seeds or fruit to eat.
After walking for many hours she saw a wood ant's nest. So desperate was she that she went to it and opened up the nest with her digging stick. In the nest she saw thousands of larvae. She put one in her mouth and ate it. The larvae were delicious! She collected all that she could and hurried back to her people.
The larvae of the wood ant saved the people. It soon became their favourite food.
When Marpeankurric died she went up into the sky and became a star. Every time Aboriginals of the Mallee Country see her they know it is time to look for their favourite food, the larvae of the wood ant first found by this clever woman.
We now call the star Arcturus.