How The Birds Got Their Colours

An illustration of two birds
An illustration of two birds. Illustration: Allen Benjamin

At first all the birds were white,

And Eagle was their Chief. 

All the birds had a meeting.

They decided to paint each other.

The birds found all kinds of colourful paints

and used feathers for paintbrushes. 

Hawk painted eagle with pitch,

Eagle painted Hawk with ashes.

Raven painted Ptarmigan with snow,

Ptarmigan painted Raven with charcoal.

Whiskeyjack painted Woodpecker with blueberries, 

Woodpecker painted Whiskeyjack with currants. 

Sparrow painted Chickadee with ocre,

Chickadee painted Sparrow with salmonberries.

Owl painted the Loon with clay,

The Loon painted the Owl with mud. 

Grouse painted Goose with soot, 

Goose painted Grouse with silt. 

The Seagull had beautiful white feathers, 

so the swan decided not to paint each other. 

All the birds painted each other very fancy,

They were all so happy and started singing.

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