The Magpie teaching The Woodpigeon How to Make a Nest, Birds and Beasts in Welsh folklore and mythology, a tale from Wales
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Category: Birds and Beasts
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Title: The Magpie teaching The Woodpigeon How to Make a Nest


The magpie, observing the slight knowledge of nest building possessed by the wood pigeon, kindly undertook the work of giving his friend a lesson in the art, and as the lesson proceeded, the wood pigeon, bowing, cooed out:| Mi wn!  Mi wn!  Mi wn!| I know!  I know!  I know!| The instructor was at first pleased with his apt pupil and proceeded with his lesson, but before another word could be uttered, the bird swelling with pride at its own importance and knowledge, said again:| I know!  I know!  I know!| The magpie was annoyed at this ignorant assurance, and with bitter sarcasm said, “Since you know, do it then,” and this is why the wood pigeon’s nest is so untidy in our days.  In its own mind it knew all about nest building and was above receiving instruction, hence its present clumsy way of building its nest.  This fable gave rise to a proverb, “As the wood pigeon said to the magpie: ‘I know.’”It is believed that when wood pigeons are seen in large flocks it is a sign of foul weather.


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