8 April 2010

There’s a magpie in the fork of the tree by the bus stop on the common. These are all spindly little trees, like twisty stakes with camouflage netting thrown over the top. But they must be good enough for magpies.

Hello Mr Magpie! Hello Mr Magpie! Hello Mr Magpie!

There’s something you have to say to magpies, isn’t there? Or is it just about how many of them you see? There’s only one of these ones, so I’m screwed anyway.

And if there is some mystic something that you have to say to magpies, is it a real and folkloric something, or is it one of the customs my mum and dad made up, like the one with sweets at New Year or the one about the sheep?


8 Responses to “Magpie”

  1. B. Miller Says:

    Not sure… but I do know Murder By Death’s new album is called Good Morning, Magpie. And it is most sincerely AWESOME.

    Nice post, Alex!

  2. Ann Says:

    I believe you are suppose to salute the magpie. And if I were you, I would search for another! Just to be on the safe side!

  3. kate m Says:

    I don’t think you can blame your parents this time, it seems a pretty widespread superstition in Britain. I think it’s only single ones that cause the bother (one for sorrow?), and yes, you’re meant to salute.

  4. I have *never* heard about the saluting before! I wonder where that came from?!

  5. Old Kitty Says:


    Isn’t it something like 1 magpie for a boy, two for a girl, three for sorrow, four for gold or silver or something like that?!?


    Either way, I love magpies – I think they’re cranky and sullen and grumpy and they just don’t care! I can so relate to that!


    take care

  6. Bernita Says:

    Here, we have a similar rhyme about crows:
    One crow, sorrow.
    Two crows, joy,
    Three crows, a letter,
    Four crows, a boy,
    Five crows, silver,
    Six crows, gold,
    Seven crows a secret,
    Never to be told.

  7. Well that’s definitely come from the same place!

    Are there magpies where you are, Bernita?

  8. Bernita Says:

    I will have to check my bird book, but I have never seen one.

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