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Wollongong City Council

Gudgad the Greedy Frog

This is a local Aboriginal Dreaming story. A Braille version of this story is also available at Cringilla Hills Playground.

Translate this story into your language below:

Gudgad enjoyed being head of the frog clan but he was not satisfied.

He sat beside the waterhole and dreamed of becoming leader of all the D’harawal. As he stared at the water rippling in the waterhole, he knew what to do.

He hopped down off his log and swallowed all the water in the water hole, stranding his children in a small puddle of water.

Each day he visited the lands of several clans and swallowed all their water. When the people of the Marri’eh’gang (Quoll) clan came and asked him  to return their water, Gudgad refused.

The people of the Guriwal (Pigeon) clan came and pleaded with him to give their water back. One by one, all the clans asked for Gudgad to return their water.

Each time, he refused.

Managa of the Eagle clan approached Gudgad.

“We need water for our children,” she said. “What can we give you in return?”

“I do not want anything“ Gudgad replied. “Go away!”

Wan’gali of the Bandicoot clan offered Gudgad all the best fruits and seeds in exchange for water.

“I don’t want to talk to you!” said Gudgad.

Gudgad called the clans together and told them he would return their water if he was leader of all the D’harawal.

Wiritjiribin, The Rememberer of the Lyrebird clan, wisely spoke: “It is against the law for one man to make all the decisions that affect our lives and the lives of our children,” she said.

That night all the Peoples gathered to discuss what they could do to make Gudgad give up the water. Gugara of the Kookaburra clan stood up. “I think I know what to do,” he said. “But you must all help me.”

The People of all the clans joined him and they all laughed together at Gudgad the Greedy frog. For three days and three nights they laughed and laughed and laughed.

Finally, Gudgad began to giggle. Then he began to chuckle. Then he began to laugh. His belly began to wobble so much that he vomited up all the water he had stolen from the creeks and waterholes.

Gudgad slipped into the pond in shame, with only his nostrils above the water surface. To this day he sits in the water, grumbling over his bad luck.

Wuri the Sun enjoyed the laughing so much that she asked Gugara to awaken her every morning. Gugara was pleased and said he would also laugh in the evening so Wuri would have happy dreams.

About this story

Wollongong City Council would like to acknowledge and thank Aunty Lorraine Brown and Aunty Narelle Thomas for sharing this D’harawal Dreaming story.

You can also find artworks and features at Cringila Hills Playground that help bring this story to life. Thanks to:

  • Meahla Brown-Langlo, Jamie Scott-Maher, Jessica Brown, Aunty Alison Day and Aunty Lorraine Brown from Coomaditchie United Aboriginal Corporation, who created the ceramic coolamon forms.
  • Aunty Alison Day, who gave Gudgad his beautiful colours and patterns.
  • Year 1 and 2 students from Warrawong Public School; Year 1 and Kindergarten students from Cringila Public School; and pre-schoolers from Cringila Children’s House, for making the ceramic frogs' eggs and tadpoles in the entry mosaic.
  • Celeste Coucke, the artist who worked with all the project participants to bring their ideas to life.