Bunjil has paused on the track, so you hide behind a tree. You were following someone here, a tall young man? But now you’ve forgotten. Whoever this person was, you didn’t get to say goodbye. Now what do you do?

“What do you think you’re doing, just standing there huh? C’mon you gotta mystery to solve!”

You hear a man’s voice, an Elder, you’ve heard this man before. Oh, the information jumps into your foggy brain! That’s who he is, Uncle Rick Nelson. How do you know Uncle Rick?

Uncle Rick suddenly appears beside you surrounded by smoke. He has long hair, a beard, and a warm presence about him. Next to HIM you see Bunjil again and Gurri (the kangaroo). What’s happened? Uncle Rick seems to know these animals. He isn’t scared of them… and they aren’t scared of him. Is he part of the mysterious appearances in the park? He must be.

“I’m going to tell you a story. Listen closely.”

Uncle Rick seems like a spirit guide. Is he real? Is he a spirit? He is barely visible in fact, you can see the bush right through him! Smoke swirls around Bunjil and Gurri as they grow smaller and smaller. Uncle Rick tells his story in a voice that’s wise and soothing:

“Everything has murrup. This means spirit in my language – Everything in the land: birds, plants, water, rocks, mountains. All the animals. They all have murrup. 

This is our Dreaming. All part of us…Mindi, the serpent. Bunjil and Waa. Bunjil, our creator. This is what we call ‘right way’ to live.

A long, long time ago, there was nothing. The land was flat. Then Bunjil made big boulders – can you see them dotted through the land? Bunjil flew high into the sky, peered down and saw the world. All the animals were giants: Gurri (the kangaroo), Barramul (the emu), Yukurn (the goanna), Ngur-Ngur (the wombat), Yulawil (the echidna) and Djinap (the cockatoo).

As Uncle Rick is speaking to you, you see these animal spirits around him start playing out the tale. It seems that a fight has broken out amongst the animals.

Bunjil sees the animals fighting and wonders, ‘Why are the animals so unhappy?’

Because of their murrup, all the animals appear the same but they look confused. Bunjil suddenly realises the trouble and flies to the ground calling to Gurri, the kangaroo.

Without warning, Bunjil lunges at Gurri with claws so sharp that it slices Gurri into tiny pieces! Each piece turns into smaller Gurri. Bunjil turns to the other animals and does the same to them. Now it is as if each animal has family. They can see who is the same and who is different. When they look to the animals like them it is as if they are looking into the mirror and seeing themselves for the first time!

Hold on, you get the feeling that you’ve been in this same position. Not too long ago, Bunjil was looking at you the same way. Maybe Bunjil recognises your family in you! Does this have something to do with why you’re small? You remember someone saying you had to follow Bunjil’s way. Maybe only Bunjil can know your true spirit. But before you can consider this, Uncle Rick is telling you the rest of the story.

Bunjil flies skyward.

Bunjil is filled with great pride.

The earth is at peace.

But wait… what’s that sound? A gigantic bird, pounding through the land, kicking up great clouds of dust. A bird running.

What is this bird that cannot fly? Barramul, emu, Barramul, emu, Barramul, emu.


“What is this Barramul that cannot fly, Uncle Rick?” you ask but you can’t see him anymore. He shimmers back into existence way ahead of you, striding up the hill, laughing. You notice that Bunjil and the little Gurris are blocking the path ahead of you. You realise that you’re a little bigger now, and you can’t just slip past Bunjil and the little Gurris, but Uncle Rick has stopped and turned around. He  urges you to follow him.

C’mon, there’s nothing to be scared of,” he says so convincingly you believe him.

You follow Uncle Rick but as you brush past Bunjil and the little Gurris you get a zing of electricity and…ZAP! They disappear. As soon as this happens your head feels less foggy and you’re able to think a little clearer. Hearing the story about the bird that cannot fly and Bunjil creating meaning through family has made you feel stronger and bigger somehow.


Uncle Rick summons you

“Come story seeker, come, come!”

Go to Higher Ground.