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How the Finch Got Her Colors is a Flemish legend. Below you can listen to it in English and read along with the tale…

MP3 of How The Finch Got Her Colors

How The Finch Got Her Colors
A Flemish Legend

There was once a time when all the birds were gray and had no colors at all. Then the Great Bird, who ruled over them, called them all together, showed them the rainbow, and told them that he had decided to give each of them one of those splendid colors. At once they began pushing and shoving and crowding about him.

”Let me have first choice! I’ll take green," screeched the parrot.

”Give me blue! I want blue!" piped the bluebird.

"I’ll take yellow," cried the oriole.

And so it went. But during all this clamor and strife, there was one little bird who sat quietly back and waited her turn. That was the finch.

"Now you each have a splendid color," said the Great Bird, "and it’s well you have all been provided for, for every single color is gone."

Just then he spied the finch.

"Come here, little finch," he cried. "Why have you asked for nothing?"

"I was waiting my turn," said the finch.

"But now all the colors are gone," said the Great Bird.

"Then must I go always in gray?” asked the finch.

Suddenly the Great Bird called all the other birds back as they were about to fly away.

finch"Go always in gray because you were too unselfish to push and shove !" he cried. ”No ! that you shall not !”

So he made all the other birds pass before him. From each he took a bit of color and gave it to the finch. Then lo and behold ! she shone with all the tints of the rainbow; not one color alone was hers, but all — all, shading beautifully into each other, and blending together in one lovely whole!

Thus it came about that the most beautiful bird of the air was the little wee finch who waited her turn.

Recording: Julia Niedermaier
Text: The Latch Key of My Bookhouse (1921)
Photo: Wikipedia

Please let us know in the comments below if you can provide a link to this legend in Flemish. Thanks! –Mama Lisa

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This artilce was posted on Thursday, January 10th, 2013 at 12:32 pm and is filed under Belgium, Books & Stories, Countries & Cultures, Dutch, Flemish, Languages, Legends, MP3's, Recordings, Recordings of Stories, Tales. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “How the Finch Got Her Colors – A Flemish Legend”

  1. James Spray Says:

    Thank you for publishing this marvelous children’s story. I’ve sought it in library’s for over three decades and on-line for many, many years. Kudos!!

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