Magpies laughter…then and now

English: Two Australian Magpies (Cracticus tib...
English: Two Australian Magpies (Cracticus tibicen) in Victoria Park, Sydney, in New South Wales, Australia. On the left is a juvenile (note the dark eyes) calling for food. The mother on the left has just obtained a piece of apple and is about to pass it over. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The magpies have gathered

In yonder tree 

In their laughter

I am becoming more free.

*if you have never heard magpies laugh

then read the story below.

Years ago,  we lived on a “Stump-ranch“.  Some years,  that is all we had for crops  was stumps.  Cutting down trees to build a home for the newly weds made more stumps.

 The garden was to be  placed where the corral used to be.  #MRHUSBAND said, ” There is no way in all of creation  you are going to get those posts out to make a garden.” (Those were not his exact words but this is a family friendly blog) .

#mrswife invited the neighbours to help. He did not know how much the teenagers in the Valley needed to cut loose. (He did not know how much the teenager in me wanted to cut loose).  I had been a teen-ager more recently than he had.   The children of the Valley were all hired  to  all to come and help me get the posts out of the former corral ground area.  And,  I really do mean all.  I had come to the Valley the year before as a hired homemaker for a family with four children and the recently widowed father. Driving the four children to their various events, I got to know all the kids at the school. 

 The day of the corral party, I had many helpers.  Some workers. Some partiers. Some parents.  There were “wee ones” helping me chase the chickens, turkeys, cows and pigs away from the old corral ground.   We had “teen ones ” roping the posts like a steer.  Then,  they would pull the posts out of the ground with horse, truck and ATV. Some of the posts had to be wrapped with a chain to get the tractor to pull them out. 

When the old posts were all out of the ground, they were placed  upright together like a  bonfire. The neighbour women (who had come with their truck loads of children and to help feed the crowd of helpers) were the ones who  started the fire as the men were all away working the hay fields. 

We sang.  We danced,  We played games and we drank a lot of water.  We threw buckets of water on each other

We had portable B B Q for the home-made sausages, vegan wieners, hot dogs, steaks and chops.   We had long sticks for the marshmallows when the fire burned down low enough to be safe.  We had the horse trough full of ice and soda.  We had food enough to feed an army.  The women had brought preserves and pickles.  There was a ton of watermelon and ice-cream sandwiches in their portable coolers. 

 In the evening,  the men came in from the hay fields  and we ate again.  We had some huge potato salads, more steak and their favorite cold drinks…and fresh bread cooked on long sticks in the fire.  The teenagers were chopping down trees and kicking up their heels.  The wee ones had napped and come alive again. The party lasted till sundown as there was hay-making again tomorrow.

It was a great corral party and #mrswife  had her space for a garden.

The next day, alone again on the stump ranch…I prepared the garden for planting.  It was then, the magpies came and *laughed in the trees.

Today, almost 40 years later, three magpies came and sat in the pine tree in the yard outside the house in the city.  They were laughing in joy that the flood waters had receded and that my family and I were safe.(#yyc, #yychelps, #yycflood2013)

Thank you for reading the rambling behind the poem.


Beckoning, reckoning, reaching my heart…….

Magpie (Photo credit: Sergey Yeliseev)
Pine cones
Pine cones (Photo credit: mikeyskatie)
Baby Feet in the Water
Baby Feet in the Water (Photo credit: therapycatguardian)

Beckoning, reckoning, reaching into my heart…

Filling it with Joy: 

the quiet laughter of a child,

a wind that blows,

soft and mild,

a song from the magpie

in yonder pine  tree,

a phone call,

a note, a moment with Thee.

These are some of  the many  treasures

I gather at the end of the day.

Beckoning, reckoning, reaching into my heart…

Filling it with Joy. 

Gathering in the Garden – Revised

Young magpie
Young magpie (Photo credit: glenasena)

Mr and Mrs came by today 

To share their Joy with me.

How I liked their baby.

Did I hear him squawk with glee?

Did I like his brand new feather coat?

Was I not happy as could be?

Well, yes I was glad to see the young one.

I really was impressed.

But to bring the boy by at 5 am?

Was I really being blessed?

Did I happen to mention

The family was from the magpie clan?

They could squeak  and squawk

better than a hillbilly band. 

 So now 

I have lost my sleep,

As the magpies

go next door. 

I think I will sneak

back to bed

To hear my own  melodic snore. 

Magpie party

Pica nuttalli This Magpie has a yellow bill an...
Image via Wikipedia
I looked for (and found) them in the rain in S...
Image via Wikipedia
English: Winter scenery in northern Alberta, C...
Image via Wikipedia
English: Winter scenery in northern Alberta, C...

Splashing in and out of the water

puddle is a gathering of magpies…more than five.

When I lived alone on the stump ranch in Northern Alberta Canada

I had the magpies to keep me alive.

This morning they are entertaining as they dance

in the wind flying and drying as they go.

In the deep isolation of the ranch in Silver Valley

the magpies sang with me in the early morning.

They gleaned and cleaned on butchering day

 danced in the wind every other day.

I loved them and love them now.

Once while living in a seniors independent lodge,

one magpie came every day to the tree by my window.

I called him Huey as his call sounded

so much like my prayer song the HU 

Pica nuttalli This Magpie has a yellow bill an...
Image via Wikipedia

HU-a love song to God


The day I had my stroke, Huey was squawking more than usual

…bouncing in and out of the soffits

He told me “Get help, get help, get help.”

I did and am alive today

in part due to his love.

One year and one day after returning from hospital,

there is a magpie party of now more than five

We are all celebrating that I am alive.

Are you celebrating too my friend?

I have several magpies

here I could send on the wind.