This story is from the people of the Blue Mountains, retold with permission, by Pauline E. McLeod.

IN THE DAYS LONG AGO, a stream fed from the Blue Mountains into the Murray River. As we know, all streams have bubbles in them. But, in this stream, the bubbles were ALIVE. They were the little crystal homes of Water Spirits.

There was one little Water Spirit who wanted to be free, so it could dance and play with all the other creatures. It wished, and wished, and wished. It wished so much that it turned into a little green creature. But still, it could not escape from its crystal home.

The Lyrebird would come down to the stream everyday to have a drink. It was used to seeing all the bubbles. But, on this one day in spring, it noticed that one of the bubbles was green. So it sang to it and the little green bubble danced to the lyrebird’s music. It dived deep into the waters and came out with a magical splash, and dived again and again, for quite some time.

Eventually, the Lyrebird became bored and was about to go home, when the Great Spirit spoke to him, saying,  “Lyrebird! Lyrebird! Go back to the little green bubble and sing to it. One of my creatures wants to be free. Only your voice can set it free. Go on, Lyrebird, go back and sing!”

Feeling very important, the Lyrebird went back to the little green bubble and started to sing. He sang and sang and sang. He sang, until he was about to burst, then he sang some more.

Suddenly, the bubble popped! Out jumped a little Green Frog. He opened his mouth, but nothing came out; not a whisper; not a sound.

“Oh!” said the Lyrebird. “Everything makes a sound. Try again.”

The little Green Frog tried. It opened its mouth once again, but still nothing came out. Not a whisper–not even–a tiny sound.

Read the rest of this story in Gadi Mirrabooka…