This is the story of Nyaram, the lizard of a thousand suns. Nyaram was known to everyone for his selfish pride and his lazy nature. In fact, he got his frilled neck because he accidentally swallowed his friends skirt while using it to steal and soak up their honey to eat with. The skirt got caught in his throat and so everyone knew it was him that had stolen the honey because of his greed.
One day, however, there was a great flood that swept everything away and no land could be seen. Every member of the tribe tried different ways of finding land but to no avail. Soon, hope was all but lost and it was in this moment that Nyaram saw how exhausted everyone was. Nyaram’s frilled neck kept him afloat in the water and he realised that he was the only one who could keep swimming until he found land without drowning. For the first time in his life, Nyaram decided that he had to use his gifts to save others as well as himself – and so he began to swim. He swam and he swam and as he swam he felt something inside of himself changing. It was the realization that his tribe was a part of him too that began to push him to keep on swimming. With this realization, his ancestors began to pay attention to what he was doing. When they saw him finally doing something to save others, they felt proud of him, and they decided to come together to aid him. For every day that Nyaram swam, each ancestor gave him the light of the sun that they grew up under, and this light showed him the way to land. When the day came that Nyaram finally found land, his selfishness dissolved and then was reborn with all the suns from his ancestors so that he saw his self radiating into everything that existed. His light shone so bright that all the members of his tribe could see the land he had found and they all swam to meet him and celebrate what wonders can happen when we act for the good of others.
I wrote this story inspired from various Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime stories about the frilled neck lizard in an attempt to revive and empower the activism that is storytelling. The name "Nyaram" is actually a Bundjalung word, meaning "frilled neck lizard".
Here are some of the Dreamtime stories online:
- The lizard who found land - https://www.kullillaart.com.au/dreamtime-stories/GA-NI-King-of-the-Lizards
- How the lizard got its frilled neck -http://guurrbitours.blogspot.com/2011/05/how-bunyjul-lizard-got-its-frill.html
~Nyaram is a ceremonial mug and holder.
If you wish to buy Nyaram, he is still available here:
20% of the profits will go directly to Bush Heritage Australia. This is a beautiful organisation that is working to preserve Australia's ecological biodiversity.
In their words, "Bush Heritage is an independent not-for-profit that buys and manages land, and partners with Aboriginal people, so we can protect our irreplaceable landscapes and our magnificent native species forever."
If you wish to find out more about their work, you can visit their website here: