A long time ago, back in the dreamtime, all the birds in Australia were the same colour just like Henry Ford’s cars, and that colour was black.
One day the peaceful dove caught his foot on a broken branch and speared himself. The dove called piteously for help and all the other birds heard and came. They saw the dove was in great pain and his foot had swollen, so the other birds gathered food for dove and sheltered him from the sun and the rain with their wings. The birds with bigger bills bought water for him to drink and even bathed his foot with water. The only bird that did not help was crow, who was in a bad mood and jealous of the attention all the other birds gave to the little hurt dove.
Crow argued noisily that the other birds were wasting their time: dove’s foot was swelling with a poison that would not leave and the little dove was sure to die. When the other birds stopped and looked they saw that the little dove’s foot was festering and swelling more and more, but still the other birds continued to help the little hurt dove who called so sadly. When the crow continued to caw his warnings and sad advice, the other birds chased crow away.
But the galah started thinking about what crow said and the galah is a very smart parrot – perhaps the smartest of all the parrots and they are all intelligent birds. Just as the rainbow lorikeet moved forward to take her turn to shelter dove from the sun, galah reached forward and bit the little dove’s swollen foot with her sharp beak. The dove cried in pain but a myriad of colours, all the colours in nature, spurted out from his swollen foot and covered all the birds.
Some birds got washed white like pelican, some got only one or two colours like galah in her pink and grey, and some were splashed with many colours like the fruit-doves in their brilliant plumage. The rainbow lorikeet sheltering the little dove at the time that galah bit got so many colours that she looked like a rainbow that she was named for. The little peaceful dove was almost drained of colour, and became a light mottled grey-brown with a pretty blue face.
And this is how all the birds of Australia got their beautiful colours except for selfish nagging crow, who kept his original black feathers.
The Circles of Life Oracle is currently looking for a reputable publisher, if you can help please contact Ideas unlimited. Readings are available by booking through: