IN THE beginning the partridge had red feathers. God had painted her so when he painted all the other creatures, but for one reason or another the partridge was not very pleased with this colour. After a time she thought she would go to God and ask him to change her colour. When she came to God, he asked her, "What ails thee?"
"Well," she said, "I do not like the dye of my feathers." And God asked her what was the reason for it.
"Well," she said, "I do not like it." Upon which God, getting hold of her, threw her into a box filled with ashes. When the partridge recovered her senses--for she was dazed by the fall--she was mightily indignant at the disgrace, and, climbing out of the box, she went as fast as she could to the nearest brook, wishing to wash away the ashes in which she was smothered. She wished to avoid being seen in that state by the other birds. So she started dipping her beak into the water and trying to wash off the ashes on her back. But, instead of washing the ashes completely off, she managed to carry the ashes with her wet beak under her wings also and along her sides. And that is why she has remained to this very day mottled and freckled, the grey of the ashes being mixed with the red--the original colour of her feathers.