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How the birds got their colours

When you see birds today they are all different colours - reds and greens, pinks and blues, yellows. But many years ago they were all the same colour, and the colour that they were was black.

Dove was out looking for food. He had been out all day without much success, he was tired and hungry so he stopped for a rest on an old branch. Well, he must have misjudged his landing, for his foot became caught in a hole of the branch and tried as he could he could not get it free. It hurt very badly, and he cried out to all the other birds for help.

Dove was a peaceful bird, beloved by the others, so they all came to help. Some sheltered him with their wings while others worked to free him, but he was stuck fast and now his foot was starting to swell. Still, the other birds did not give up on him, bringing him food and drink while they worked to rescue their friend.

Only Crow, selfish and cantakerous, did not help. He stayed back and watched with a miserly look in his beady eyes. Dove was done for, he said, they were wasting their time. Such hateful words he spoke that the other birds chased him away, they would not give up on Dove.

Then Galah had an idea. She bit at Dove's foot with her curved beak before anyone could stop her, and out flew all the colours of the rainbow, splashing all the birds gathered there. Some birds only got one colour, like the black and white Magpie. Little Rainbow Lorikeet was covered from head to toe with every colour there was. Galah, closest to the explosion, she was splashed with rosy pink, and grey. Dove was drained of colour, but he was free so he did not mind. The birds rejoiced in their beautiful feathers and did not mind at all that they all looked so different.

And that bad-tempered old Crow? Well, he didn't get a single drop of colour, not even a speck. And that is why Crow is still black to this day.

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