How the Birds Got their Colours is a Wiradjuri Story from New South Wales, retold with permission, by Pauline McLeod

WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG, a beautiful arch appeared in the sky. This arch, which was the rainbow, seemed to take colour from all around. There were all the reds, the blues, greens, yellows and purples. It kept on growing and growing, right before your very eyes.

Slowly the arch of the rainbow began to pulsate, as it grew larger. Then, finally, it exploded! The rainbow became a million pieces that floated in the air as they slowly drifted towards the ground.

As the million colourful pieces of the rainbow fell towards the ground, the pieces changed into all the birds we know today.

Some of the birds, like the crow, didn’t like the feeling of falling and they screamed out in horror, like this… “Aaahhhhh! Aaahhhhh! Aaahhhhh!”

To see how this story ends, click here to buy Gadi Mirrabooka – Australian Aboriginal stories book