The Herald of the Dawn

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When Wala made the world and the animals therein, there was a great distinction between Day and Night, and often it was difficult to tell if it was light or dark, or in between, or the other way around. The animals decided to sent a messenger to Wala to ask for some means of telling when the night was over and day began.

The animals worked long and hard building a ladder, a tall, tall ladder which reached right up to the sky. But when the ladder was finished there was grave doubt if anyone could climb it. Many animals tried, but they either became dizzy and fell down, or were too frightened to climb very far.

In those days Rooster was an ugly and ungainly creature, not so fine a fellow as he is today; and the animals all laughed at him when he tried to climb the ladder. But Rooster ascended the ladder little by little, further and further, until he could see Wala.
Wala listened to his story, and looked kindly on him.

“You are a brave animal,” he said, “to come all this way and tell me of your troubles telling night from day. Such a brave animal should also be beautiful.”

Wala gave Rooster brilliant colors and a better shape, and placed a red crown on his head to be a symbol of the rising sun.

“Henceforth,” he said, “night will be night and very dark, and day will be day and brighter. And you will wear your red crown, and sing a song each morning to announce the dawn.”

That is how Rooster won his colors and his crown, and why he always sings a song at daybreak.

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