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1001 Stories Collection

How the Kangaroo Got Its Pouch

Added on 29th June 2020

Oral tradition Australian folktale

An origin story from Australia showing how kindness can be rewarded in the most unexpected way.


A big hearted kangaroo is rewarded for her kindness and her bravery.

Why we chose it

How the Kangaroo Got Its Pouch was one of the stories chosen by Geraldine McCaughrean for our World Stories project with St Ebbes School in 2016. The stories were represented on fabric hangings made by artist Ally Baker which can still be found hanging in the museum.

Where it came from

This is a traditional myth told by the Australian Wiradjuri people of New South Wales. According to indigenous Australian legend, the land was bare until ancestor spirits created the world and everything in it. This time is known as the Dreamtime, and its events still echo in the land of Australia today. Their actions describe the origins of the world’s natural phenomena. Animals are often at the heart of these stories.

Associated stories

There are countless other Dreamtime myths about ancestor beings and the origins of our modern world. Other Dreamtime stories in the 1001 include Tiddalik, Rainbow Bird and Finding Australia.

Added on 29th June 2020

Oral tradition Australian folktale