How Fisher-Bird Gained His Colors

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One day a woman was gathering palm nuts in the forest then she fell from a tree and hurt herself so badly she could not walk. As she lay on the ground in pain Green Pigeon alighted on a nearby branch.

“Pigeon,” cried the woman, “fly to my village and tell my people I lie here, hurt and unable to move.”

“I am too busy,” Green Pigeon answered, and flew away.

Hawk saw her lying there, and came close.

“Hawk,” said the woman, “I give you these palm nuts. Eat them, and then go to my village and tell my husband to come. I have broken bones and cannot move.”

Hawk ate the nuts, but then laughed and flew away, saying he had no time to carry messages for foolish woman. Then Fisher-bird came. In those days he was a plain and ordinary bird without any bright colors.

“I see you are hurt, Woman,” he said at once. And bring a friendly creature he added: “I will fly to your village, and tell your people to come.”

He flew to the village, and the woman’s relatives came to fetch her. Some days later, when the woman was almost well again, Fisher-bird came to see how she was.

“O Fisher-bird,” declared the grateful woman, “you are the best and most courteous of birds. I shall give you colors befitting your noble heart, so that all men know and love you.”

With dyes she used for dying cloth she painted the delighted bird in royal colors of purple, emerald and blue, and Fisher-bird wears those colors to this day. But Hawk and Green Pigeon are hunted and killed.

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