Why the Robin Has a Red Breast?
This legend comes from the Inuit people and it tells us of how the Robin got his redbreast.
is one of many Robin legends told throughout this huge world of ours.
Most of them have the same theme and only the places and sometimes the
animals in them are told differently. I hope you enjoy this one.
away in a land where the snow stays on the ground most if not all of the year, where the
used to build their homes of snow which they called Igloo's. The people
hunted for their food and furs to make clothes to keep them warm
throughout the coldest days. Unlike ourselves today they couldn't pop
down the the shops to by a warm coat or trousers, everything they had
usually came from the land itself. But the most important thing of all
was Fire, not only to keep them warm and to cook their food on but also
to keep away stray animals who might fancy a hunter or his son for their
The story begins with a father and son who live in this cold land and
although there were many things they had to do during the day and
evening the one thing that they had to do more than any other was, yep
you've guessed it, KEEP THE FIRE ALIGHT.
“Remember son never let the fire die” his father said, "always, always
make sure that there is plenty of wood to keep the fire burning", and of
course whenever his father went hunting he always made sure to leave a
great pile of wood for his son.
was a great white bear, who didn’t like the father at all, he knew the man was a hunter and
one day it could be him that was being hunted, but he also knew how
important the fire was to the hunter and his son and he planned to put
the fire out at the first opportunaty that he got and the cold would do
the rest, he only had to wait for the
right time when the family were sleeping.
day, the boys father fell ill. He wasn’t able to go hunting or to take turns
with his son to keep the fire alight. The boy tried staying awake for as
long as he could. Several days passed and the white bear knew that this was the time he'd been waiting for.
As hard as he tried the boy began to get weary and one night he couldn’t keep his eyes open any
longer and he fell asleep. It was now that the white bear saw his chance.
Carefully and quietly he approached the fire and stomped on it
with his paws till the fire was gone.
“Now will see how you make your
meat without fire” said angry bear and left, and without a
fire it was getting cold very fast. Frost was started to gather
around boy’s bed. But alas he was so tired that even coldness wasn’t
bothering him. He fell into a deep, deep sleep.
Unbeknown to the great white bear however the boy had a special friend
whom he used to chat too and feed whilst his father was out hunting and
it was this special friend who watched as the bear put out the fire and
he knew it was up to him to try and help his friend.. The
bird got there just in time, he scratched
with his tiny claws among the ashes looking for a spark that would
rekindle the fire.
“Ah, here it is” said the bird excitedly and started fanning
the sparks with his wings as quickly as he could to bring the fire to life again.
bird flapped so
much that the fire began to spread from one stick to another. So hard
was he flapping that he didn't notice that the fire was scorching the
feathers on his chest.More and more sticks caught alight and the bird
his work done flew away into the trees, hurting from the burns to his
chest he sat their patiently waiting for the boy to awake.
didn't have to wait long for the boy awoke and noticing that the fire
was burning down piled on sticks and soon the fire was burning fiercely,
not only that but his he saw his father stirring in his bed and quickly
put on the kettle so that he could make him a cup of tea and even a
piece of toast covered in dripping, that should soon make his dad
the distance the white bear noticed what the boy was doing and was
cursing the little bird that helped him. He decided to pack his case and
move to a different part of the land.
The hunter got better, his young son was happy that his dad was
better and that was it, the end of the story...... but is it? No I
don't think so. What about the little brown bird who when he flew down
to the snow house surprised the boy by showing him his red breast.
Through time he began to get called redbreast, someone added the name
Robin and from that day he is always referred to as Robin of the Red
Breast or to you and me ~ Robin Redbreast.
As told by Dorothy Milnes-Simm 2014