This is my interpretation of “Yurtuyurtu” which means in the Kalkadoon language “crocodile”.
Long, long ago the crocodile used to walk the lands and did not swim. He was a ferocious animal that would sneak up on people that were camping or walking and take them for his meal and then disappear back into the bush. When the wife of a great hunter was taken by Yurtuyurtu the hunter swore to hunt and kill every last crocodile he could find. The hunter was the fastest, strongest and bravest of the hunters and after only a few weeks he had killed many crocodiles.
While out hunting one day he saw some very large crocodile tracks and started to track his prey and when he finally came upon Yurtuyurtu he raised his spear and was about to throw when Yurtuyurtu turned and spoke to the hunter. “Why do you hunt my family and kill them all” the crocodile asked and the hunter said back because it was your family that killed my loving wife and now I will kill you the last of your kind and again the hunter raised his spear. The crocodile spoke back to the hunter once again “can we forgive each other as we have both lost loved ones and if you cannot forgive me then you can never expect to be forgiven for any wrong doing you have done, if you can forgive me I will disappear from your sight and will make my new home down by the river and will live there for all time and will not walk the lands again”. The hunter thought for a long time about what Yurtuyurtu had said and finally agreed that they both should be forgiven and move forwards in their lives.
To this day Yurtuyurtu has kept his word and never ventures far from his river home.
By Chern’ee Sutton
Age – 15 years.
Size – 122cm wide X 152cm high
Medium – Acrylic and textured acrylic on 100% linen canvas.