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Magpies - One for Sorrow, Two for Joy

By Ashleylister @ashleylister
Magpies  -  One for Sorrow, Two for Joy
One for sorrow, two for joy. There they are again, on the fence, eyeing up the bird-feeders, the cheeky pair. They were going for it the other day, standing on the top of the frame from where they were able to peck at the fat-balls then stretching to the seed holders to steal from them. Stealing it is, because those feeders are for sparrows. By the time I’ve stood up from my chair, they’ve flown home to next door’s tree.
Over the weekend I was tidying the back garden and making space to plant some winter flowering pansies. For once it was quiet. Usually there’s someone nearby with a lawn-mower or strimmer, or noisy DIY going on and there’s always sirens. We are close to the hospital, the M55, the main police headquarters and a fire station. The sirens are really annoying but not as irritating as the sound of the magpies. The afternoon was pleasantly warm and the air was still. I wanted to do as much as I could before my knees and upper legs surrendered. Soon the magpies kicked off with loud, rattly chak chak chakking. It’s a horrible noise and I think they do it on purpose when they see me come outside. I did what I needed to do as quickly as I could. Next door’s tree is a well-established sycamore and I’m sure it is a housing estate for a massive conventicle of magpies or at least the overspill from the trees around nearby Lawson’s Field.
Magpies have an attractive plumage of black and white with a wide stripe of navy blue which is beautifully vibrant in sunlight. They are predators of bird’s eggs and nestlings which they will kill to feed their young. Nice looking but nasty creatures which also carry superstition. I don’t like to see just one on its own and have to mutter “Good day, Mr Magpie” and hope for another to show up. Apparently, in China they are thought to bring good luck.
In my early teens I used to enjoy ‘Magpie’, the TV show. I’ve read that it was a rival to Blue Peter. I don’t remember it being anything like Blue Peter. I found it entertaining and informative aimed at slightly older kids, which is probably what appealed to me. And it had the rhyme we all know for a signature tune. Join in.
One for sorrow
Two for joy,
Three for a girl
Four for a boy.
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret
Never to be told.
Eight for a wish,
Nine for a kiss,
Ten for a bird
You must not miss.
Thanks for reading, Pam x
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