The Tale of a Magpie, Birds and Beasts in Welsh folklore and mythology, a tale from Denbigh Wales
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Category: Birds and Beasts
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Title: The Tale of a Magpie

In days of old, a company of men were stealthily making their way across the country to come upon the enemy unawares. All at once they espied a magpie on a tree, and by common consent they halted to see which way it would take its flight, and thus foretell the fortune which would attend their journey. One of the party, evidently an unbeliever in his comrades’ superstition, noiselessly approached the bird, and shot it dead, to the great horror of his companions. The leader of the party, in great anger, addressed the luckless archer—“You have shot the bird of fate, and you shall be shot.” The dauntless man said, “I shot the magpie, it is true, but if it could foretell our fate, why could it not foresee its own?” The archer’s reasoning was good, but I do not know whether people were convinced by logic in those distant times, any more than they are in ours.

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