Large numbers of Magpies often gather to resolve territorial conflicts and social standing.They do this in my garden every morning very urly and believe me its very noisy.. These gatherings, called parliaments, probably gave rise to the many nursery rhymes and poems about Magpies, such as:

One for sorrow, two for mirth,
Three for a wedding, four for a birth,
Five for silver, six for gold,
Seven for a secret not to be told.
Eight for heaven, nine for hell,
And ten for the devil's own sel'.

Or more commonly:

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 that's best to miss

Read Online..The Maid and the Magpie
Painting -The maid and the magpie-William henry Hunt.


Rosie said...

We have Magpies chitter chattering in the trees at the top of our garden - they can be very noisy. I love to see them though! At school we used to say 'Good day my lord' if you saw just one, also we used to chant 'one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a letter, 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 and ten for disappointment' Have a great weekend:)

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Dearest Dutchess! What a darling post! We don't have magpies here in Minnesota; or in Massachusetts, where I lived as well! I must follow that link to the story! I was out all day yesterday...I must run and see what happened on your Mouse with a Tale post....Happy Sunday my dearest! Anita

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

"No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds, November!"


Aunt Amelia