Louisiana History (site directory)

The Louisiana Legacy

The Brown Pelican

by Aaron Touchet

Louisiana didn't have a state bird until 1893, although we did have state flowers, trees, and stuff like that. Four hunters had just gotten back to their cabin after a deer hunting trip when one said, "Why don't we do someting to this place."

They all agreed and decided that the old shed needed a coat of paint. The only color they had was brown but what the heck, they were out in the woods, who cares what color it was.

They began painting, one hunter on each side. Up the wall they painted, then they climbed on the roof and began to paint it until they each reached the very top.


They looked at each other and began to chew the other one out in very loud, unrepeatable French because one had left a way off the roof.

Just about then a flock of white pelicans flew over and settled on the edges of the roof. They sat there watching those crazy Cajuns yelling at each other. As the birds sat there, their feathers began to soak up the brown paint that hadn't dried.

Very soon all the paint from the roof was gone and those white pelicans weren't white anymore.

Those fellas on the roof were so happy that they decided these would become the state bird and every since then... well you know how the story goes.

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