Why the cassowary has a red crest


Once upon a time, in the dreaming, there was a cassowary called Cassa. Cassa lived in the Daintree forest in far north Queensland. This was a long time ago though, speaking of when cassowaries didn’t have red crests.

Cassowaries often swallow rocks and stones to help the food that they eat go down. Cassa went through the same process- but the rocks and stones went back up the way they came in. Cassa waited for the rocks and stones to reach his mouth and then he would spit them out in one go to create mountains for the animals to admire.                                                                   

Cassa was amazing, and two pesky possums knew it, but they were both jealous of Cassa’s special ability. The possums decided to gang up on Cassa. ”Yes, “whispered one possum to the other. “Great idea”. “We’ll get Cassa to step on the echidna so that it gets a quill stuck in his foot. Then you will offer to pull out the quill and while you are doing that, I will find a rock and drop it on Cassa’s head.”

The possums then followed their plan to hurt Cassa and teach him a lesson. The echidna agreed to the deal and slipped underneath Cassa’s foot. Cassa found himself being asked if he wanted the quill taken out by one of the possums.  Cassa replied “Yes” and while he was distracted, a possum-sized rock was dropped on his head. Cassa’s head started bleeding, leaving a permanent red mark and several bumps where the rock had hit it.

That’s why the cassowary has a red crest.