A long time ago, during the Dreamtime, Emu was a beautiful colourful bird. He was admired by all the other birds.

Emu was very proud of himself and became very vain and compared himself to all the other creatures. Because all the creatures could not match his beauty, Emu wanted to show his splendour to Sun, the mighty woman from the heavens.

One day, to impress Sun, Emu flew up in the sky and when he was near Sun, he started to dance in a frenzy of arrogance. He came nearer and nearer to Sun which made her angry. Sun glared at him and the rays of fire in her gaze burnt Emu’s beautiful and colourful feathers. The top of his head, neck and wings got badly burnt. 

Emu was in such pain that he fell to the ground and fainted.

When Emu woke up, there was hardly any feather on his head and neck and his wings had burnt to half of their size. He could not fly any more! All his colourful feathers have been burnt too!

This is why the emu we know today is a flightless dull-feathered bird which has hardly any feathers on its head and neck.