Pictured above is Claude Monet’s The Magpie.  

I once asked my boyfriend what my petname was. I meant what animal am I to you. He refused to pick a cat, stating that was too simple. Much time passed before he said that I was a Magpie, because my initials MAG and because of their intelligence.

He quickly took it back, explaining magpie can also mean a shrill, chattering woman or a hoarder. He didn’t mean that. He said I wasn’t either of those things. I wasn’t a magpie.

I’ve never been much of a bird person, and I’ll probably never be. See, he likes to know what birds he sees, and I just like to watch them fly. If he spots one he can’t identify, he’ll search the internet until the mystery is revealed. I like mystery to be limitless.

But, in this instance, I wanted more. What do people say about the magpie? Magpies are considered one of the most intelligent animals. They understand their self and see their selves in mirrors. They experience emotions and grief. They have social rituals of emotional expression.

In mythology, the story of the magpie varies. In Europe, they symbolism witchcraft and bad omens. In Britain and Ireland, magpies had the gift of foresight. Some countries characterized magpies as thieves, the reason why shiny things went missing. Asian cultures tell a different story. Magpies translate to happiness. They are strong in spirit and bring good fortune. I like the dichotomy in folklore. It suits me.

I told him I don’t mind being a magpie. I’m intelligent. I feel deeply. I seek myself through introspection. I’m a bit superstitions and strange. I experience more deja vu than anyone I know. I’m not opposed to shiny things. I have experienced a lot, and I’m still here, still living each day as happily as I can. Some days are better than others. There is darkness in me and light, black and white. I’d also like to fly. I don’t mind being a magpie.


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