The Truth About Single Magpies
I touched on this one years ago. The myth that single magpies are unlucky. The truth is they’re absolutely not. In fact most of them are confirmed bachelors, and proud of it, as I discovered when I went to talk to a magpie I met last week called Charles.
Charles lives alone in Sheepcote Valley, and he wouldn’t have it any other way:
I asked him what made him decide to go it alone.
“Well, I had a couple of somewhat awkward experiences with females.” He said. “One called Lucy who liked to do things. Unpleasant things that I often found painful. I put up with it for two years until I finally decided I didn’t want to be sore anymore. Then the next one, Sarah. She was totally the opposite. She just followed me around all day. Everywhere I went, there she’d be just staring at me not saying anything. We really didn’t have much in common either, so now I’m on my own and it suits me down to the ground. I can do what I want. Go where I want. If sitting up there and staring out to sea is the order of the day…” He gestures with his slightly grubby beak to a tall lamp post behind us. “No-one is going to stop me. It’s a way of life that works, for me anyway. Of course it’s not for everyone, but there are a few of us happy singles living up here.”
I didn’t quite know how to frame the next question, so I asked him as politely as possible whether he’d ever tempted to ‘fly for the other side’?
“Good God no. That’s not for me at all. I mean there’s nothing wrong with it of course. Each to their own, and I have plenty of friends who do that kind of thing, but no. I’m really very happy on my own and intend absolutely for it to stay that way.”
Then he told me that every Wednesday a group of them meet up near the racecourse, and invited me to join him at the next one.
“Sometimes we fly about a bit, or we just sit and chat. Depends on the weather. A couple of them are into chess, but that’s not me either. Clearly not everyone is as content with the single life as I am, like David. He’s nice enough, but I’m not sure he’s single out of choice, if you know what I mean.”
So, that’s that. Single magpies are unlucky and a bad omen is a load of old bollocks. They’re on their own out of choice. Fact, and those that aren’t are probably best left alone, as I’m sure I’ll find out when I meet David on Wednesday!