How the Cockatoo Gave Color to the World

Before the High and Far-Off Times, O my Best Beloved, came the time of the Very Beginnings- sometimes referred to as the Time of the Great Grayness; and it was in the days when the Eldest Magician was getting Things ready. First he got the Earth ready, then he got the Sea and Sky ready; and then he told all the Animals that they could come out and play. The Animals said: “O Eldest Magician, How shall we play? Everything in the World is gray and we can barely see one another- never mind play!”

Eldest Magician looked around at the wide land, “Something is very wrong with the World”, he said. “It is hard to tell when the rainy days stop and the sunny days begin!”. The Animals all agreed. “Someone must go to the Ends of the Wide World to the magical creature called the Rainbow- if the Rainbow will share its colors, the Wide World will become wonderful indeed! Who will go?”.”Not I”, said the Donkey, “Gray is a fine color for a humble animal like me- I wish no change of color!”. The Magician looked elsewhere. “Not I”, said the Dolphin, “Gray is a fine color for a sleek animal like me- I wish no change of color!”. Eldest Magician shifted his glance. “Not I”, said the Elephant, “Gray is a fine color for an imposing animal like me- I wish for no change of color!”.

The Eldest Magician began to despair, was there no Animal with a wish for beauty? “Will no one travel to the Rainbow?” All the Animals refused to meet his eyes, all but one- a cheeky bird with bright eyes and a loving disposition- the Cockatoo. “Gray is NOT a fine color for the Whole Wide World!- I wish for a change! I will go”. And as it so happened, O Best Beloved, the courageous bird braved many perils to reach the Rainbow, but reach it he did. The Rainbow gave of its colors gladly, and when the Cockatoo returned to Eldest Magician, he was every color imaginable. The Animals marveled at the radiant Cockatoo, and wished for color for themselves (all except for the Donkey, Dolphin, and Elephant…). The Cockatoo gave every Thing in the world a color, gave and gave with his loving heart, until the World WAS wonderful, and very beautiful…but!! The poor bird forgot to save a color for himself!

And that is why, O Best Beloved, the Cockatoo, of all the parrots, has no color of it’s own- only white or black with small traces of color in hidden places (except for the especially sensitive ones who blushed pink from all the praise from the other Animals); and as recompense for this unselfish act, the Eldest Magician caused the Cockatoo to have a proud Crest upon his head, so THAT’S all right, Best Beloved. Do you see?