April 26, 2012 @ 11:05 AM

Tale of the Sulfur-Crested Cockatoo

I recently purchased a beautiful full-size Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo hand puppet from Folkmanis Puppets.  The intention is to use it at various shows and fairs along with my display of My Feathered Family and Critter Car-toon decals.  I want to share with you the adorable folk tale that is on the tag of the puppet.  It’s an Australian tale of how the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo received his yellow head feathers.  The credit for the tale is listed as Madeleine Scott. 

Today, the island of Australia is a sunny place, but there was a time, long ago, when Sun became tired and decided to take a nap.  This is what happened to the cockatoos, who were plain brown birds before this time of darkness.  At first, they just wandered around day after day, lost and bumping into each other, until one of them rolled down a riverbank and fell into a wide river.  What happened to the other cockatoos we don’t really know, but this bird got tossed and tumbled every which way in the current, until he became so scared and desperate that he started to scream for help.  This eventually attracted the attention of Sun, thank goodness, who woke up and began to rise.  Cockatoo saw the land then, struggled to shore, and set to cleaning and drying his feathers.  That was when he noticed that he had become all white from his long soaking in the water!  He protested and he complained until Sun looked in his direction.  Cockatoo was having trouble reaching the feathers on his head, being a little stiff from his near drowning.  When Sun saw those feathers sticking straight up, he opened his mouth to laugh, and a golden ray of sunshine shot out.  “Here’s a gift from me, White Bird.  Let your head always wear a golden crown!”  And that’s why cockatoo looks the way he does today.  And he still makes plenty of noise to make sure Sun doesn’t fall asleep again...

I hope you enjoyed this little folktale as much as I did.
Check out Folkmanis at www.folkmanis.com they have hundreds of life-like puppets!