When God created the little birds, he gave them legs to hop with, wings to fly with, bills to eat with, and also to sing with. As they stood around him, he opened a large paint-box, and called them, one by one, that he night color them. It was the pigeon's turn first, and God painted a purple ring around his neck, and his wings gray; next came the canary bird, which was painted as yellow as a lemon; then the woodpecker was colored black, with a beautiful white breast and a red head. All the little birds were colored in their turn; only one little bird was overlooked. A thistlefinch, who stood behind the others, and was too modest to push himself forward, was forgotten. When God saw him, he had used nearly all the paint, and only a little was left in the saucers. The bird was very sad, and shed tears because he did not have a pretty dress like the others. Then God said to him: "Do not weep! I have a little paint left in each saucer, which I will rub on your wings with my brush." So he painted him red, blue, black and green, using some paint for each saucer. The thistlefinch was happy, and thanked God for giving him the brightest and gayest plumage.
A Fictional Short Story by
Agnes Taylor Ketchum & Ida M. Jorgensen