Magpie and the Farmer's Wife, Birds and Beasts in Welsh folklore and mythology, a tale from Llanwnog Wales
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Category: Birds and Beasts
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Title: Magpie and the Farmer's Wife


I will relate one other tale of the magpie, which I heard upwards of twenty years ago in the parish of Llanwnog, Montgomeryshire.|I was speaking to a farmer’s wife—whose name it is not necessary to give, as it has nothing to do with the tale—when a magpie flew across our view. “Ah!” she ejaculated, “you naughty old thing, what do you want here?” “I see,” said I, “you think she brings bad luck with her.” “Oh, yes,” was the response, “I know she does.” “What makes you so positive,” said I, “that she brings bad luck with her?” My question elicited the following story. My friend commenced:—“You know the brook at the bottom of the hill. Well, my mother met with very bad luck there, a good many years ago, and it was in this way—she was going to Newtown fair, on our old horse, and she had a basket of eggs with her. But, just as she was going to leave the ‘fould,’ a magpie flew before her. We begged of her not to go that day—that bad luck would attend her. She would not listen to us, but started off. However, she never got further than the brook, at the bottom of the hill, for, when she got there, the old mare made straight for the brook, and jerked the bridle out of mother’s hand, and down went the mare’s head to drink, and off went the basket, and poor mother too. All the eggs were broken, but I’m glad to say mother was not much the worse for her fall. But ever since then I know it is unlucky to see a magpie. But sir,” she added, “there is no bad luck for us to-day, for the magpie flew from left to right.”


Find information on "Magpie and the Farmer's Wife", and Birds and Beasts, in Llanwnog Wales. Celtic and Welsh mythology and folklore in the Walesdirectory.co.uk.