Patricia Newell-Dunkley.


According to Aboriginal belief, all life as it is today – Human, Animal, Bird and Fish is part of one vast unchanging network of relationships which can be traced to the great spirit ancestors of the Dreamtime.


Once upon a time the land had no water, or so all the animals were led to believe, because the only way to get a drink or quench their thirst was to chew “Gulbirra”, kangaroo grass, or lick the dew from the leaves.

dreamtime2One day the short nosed bandicoot Gudjilla saw Bangarra the blue tongued lizard drying himself behind a rock, and when all the other animals heard this, they were very angry, and said to Bangarra “You must have some water hidden away!  Where have you hidden it?”

Bangarra would not tell because he wanted the water for himself.

The animals called a meeting and chose Gudjilla the bandicoot to follow Bangarra wherever he went. But Bangarra was very clever and could see Gudjilla out of the corner of his eye and never revealed where the water was hidden.

The animals called another meeting and chose Jiggirrjiggirr, the little willy wagtail because he was smaller than Gudjilla and could move a lot faster in case he had to hide when Bangarra looked around when he heard someone was following.  But when Jiggirrjiggirr did hide, he could not keep his black and white tail from flicking about. Bangarra still had the water hidden.

The animals did not know what to do. Bangarra was too smart. Then Gula, the rat, the smallest of all the animals said he could follow Bangarra but all the other animals laughed at him, and Midin, the ring tailed possum pushed his way in and told Gula that was too small and should not he heard.

dreamtime3Gula very hurt, went his own way and crept up very close behind Bangarra, the blue tongued lizard. Now when Bangarra thought someone was following, and looked to the left, Gula the little rat would jump to the right, and when Bangarra looked to the right, Gula would jump to the left, and so it was the little rat Gula followed the blue tongue lizard Bangarra to the spring that was hidden under a big flat rock, and when Bangarra lifted the rock to let the spring flow, Gula jumped out from hiding and frightened Bangarra away, and all the other animals praised Gula for what he had done.

The animals were so happy for all the running water bubbling from the spring, they all jumped in and began to splash water everywhere and the kingfisher was so glad, he swam to and fro, and with his beak made drains and gullies in front of the running water all the way down to the sea and that is how the small creeks and gullies were made to this very day.

The moral of this story:  He who is thought of least and of no account will be the greatest.


Reproduced with permission from Didjshop.com

About Patricia Newell-Dunkley

I am an artist writer, born in Sussex, Shoreham-on-Sea and educated at Ealing Modern School in London. I studied amongst other subjects English Literature and Art which sowed the seeds for what would become a lifelong passion. It was not until 1970, after moving to Australia, that I began to satisfy my artistic desire when I first started Porcelain on-glaze painting using mineral oxides paint, a style which would become my forte. Within six months I had bought a kiln, and I embarked on an extensive series of courses over the following years in Grounding, Gold and Silver Gilding, Lustres, Raised Paste and Pen work. In 1980 I began to offer my art through a number of major Sydney outlets. Initially the Fine Art Department of the Myers City Store, followed by David Jones, Grace Brothers, The International Airport, Micawbers Antiques, Bourke’s Hilton Hotel, Roseville Gallery and Toowoon Bay Gallery. Over the years my painting styles have expanded to include Oil, Pastel, and Watercolours. I am a member of the Society of Authors and also a member of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists UK. My writing includes articles and poems published in This England, Evergreen, and The Radio ABC Pot Pourri of Poems, as well as short stories. “The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain,” “Wallis the Woman I Love,” a narrative poem, “Letters of a Travelling Lady,” and six romantic novels.