What is a Magpie?
A black and white Australian bird.
Every year at springtime in Australia, there are numerous stories in the media about the spate of magpies swooping on unsuspecting walkers, bike riders, runners – anyone they take exception to being in their territory, as they protect their babies in the nest.
That means me. Every time.
They can do real damage by pecking people, drawing blood and causing people to fall off their bikes, as well as scaring normal people going about their everyday normal business.
I can understand their motives and I applaud the care they give their young ones.
But…they hate me.
This is my idea of a nice magpie, and he doesn’t eat much 🙂
I have written at least 10 posts mentioning magpies over the years, (I did a search), and in each one I mention the fact that magpies sing lovely songs of a morning outside my window, but they also love to hate me, they terrorise me with their vigorous swooping and they scare the @##$^ out of me.
The experts tell you to make friends with magpies, not to run away from them, not to feed them, they have long memories and know if you’ve been mean to them – me be mean??
Here I am sharing my afternoon tea with one for goodness sake!
A few years ago I was out with my mum for afternoon tea and this very friendly magpie decided to join us for some scones and cream.
Could he not go and tell his friends how nice a person I am and to leave me alone in future?
Can you tell which one is the real magpie here? They often come down for a chat on the fence post, but it’s a very one-sided conversation!!
A Magpie called Penguin?
But this past week I’ve read a lovely book about a magpie, which has altered my view.
I haven’t read the first book Penguin Bloom, but I have heard only good things about it. This second book was more of a telling of Sam’s story, and oh my, how honest she has been. It made me cry and I came to love the little magpie that she was saving.
Spoiler alert: The magpie ended up saving her.
It’s since been made into a movie starring Naomi Watts and Andrew Lincoln, which I will see one day soon I hope.
The photos in the book by Sam’s husband, Cameron Bloom, are exquisite and it’s like a coffee table book, featuring the beautifully told story, but woven through with sublime personal family photos of Penguin the magpie. Hence the name Penguin Bloom – a very important family member!
If you haven’t heard of this story yet, here’s the blurb from Goodreads:
Penguin Bloom is an extraordinary true story full of hope and courage, featuring Cameron Bloom’s exceptional photographs and a captivating narrative by New York Times bestselling author Bradley Trevor Greive.
Penguin the Magpie is a global social media sensation. People the world over have fallen in love with the stunning and deeply personal images of this rescued bird and her human family. But there is far more to Penguin’s story than meets the eye. It begins with a shocking accident, in which Cameron’s wife, Sam, suffers a near fatal fall that leaves her paralysed and deeply depressed.
Into their lives comes Penguin, an injured magpie chick abandoned after she fell from her nest. Penguin’s rescue and the incredible joy and strength she gives Sam and all those who helped her survive demonstrates that, however bleak things seem, compassion, friendship and support can come from unexpected quarters, ensuring there are always better days ahead. This plucky little magpie reminds us all that, no matter how lost, fragile or damaged we feel, accepting the love of others and loving them in return will help to make us whole.
In Sam Bloom, Sam tells her own story for the first time – how a shy but determined Australian girl became a nurse and travelled across Africa. How she fell in love with a like-minded free spirit, raised three boys and built a life together on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. And then, in a single horrific moment, how everything changed. Sam’s journey back from the edge of death and the depths of despair is so much more than an account of overcoming adversity. Sam’s captivating true story – written by close friend, New York Times bestselling author Bradley Trevor Greive, and featuring extraordinary photographs taken by Sam’s husband, Cameron Bloom – is humbling, heartbreaking and uplifting in equal measure. A triumph of raw emotion and incredible beauty, Sam Bloom: Heartache & Birdsong is a truly unforgettable book.
I mentioned the book in my #ShoutoutSaturday post this week too, it’s made quite the impression on me.
Birds in general
Last week for Sunday Stills I also featured birds, red robins and king parrots, so it’s been lovely to join in again this week, with two very different stories about magpies.
have to say I LOVED Sue’s take on the theme in her post Birds of a feather flock together and Donna’s take on this week was very clever too – Johnny is a Bird Dog – everyone interprets prompts in a different way and it makes it so interesting!
Next week the prompt is Things that are white, hope you can join in.
If you’ve read the books or seen the movie, please let me know your thoughts.
For one thing a penguin and a magpie are both black and white and they are both the name of a magpie (to answer the question in my title) 🙂
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