Guritcha – Willy Wagtail


Guritcha (the willy wagtail) and Deedreepah (the mudlark) each believed they were the bravest bird in the bush next to Yirradwor (the magpie). They agreed to a contest of bravery, wearing Yirradwor’s black and white colours so all would know. Yirradwor would be the judge.

Boobook (the wise owl) told of a monstrous flood coming. Deedreepah bravely built his nest of mud right out on a limb over the river. Guritcha built his nest lower of cobwebs and hair he pulled from the back of animals.

At night when the flood came, Guritcha told his wife to take their babies higher in the tree. Next morning, the water lapped just below Deedreepah’s nest where he had bravely stayed all night.

When the water dropped, Guritcha was found drowned, but still sitting on his nest. Under his body was a baby, still alive.

Yirradwor declared Guritcha the bravest bird in the whole bush. Guritcha’s descendants still wear the black and white colours and pluck hair from the back of animals and bravely attack other birds.