Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically, which we share with Chickens, Cats, Guinea Pigs and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I work as an environmental educator, lecturer, writer and Forest School leader at Moors Wood . I am a Master Composter and have spent the last 11 years as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council. I offer talks and run workshops and events where we talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. We also make crafts and have fun.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun. To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!


Friday, 27 February 2015

Remembering Magnus Magenpie.

I was  sent a link by a friend to this. We all feed the birds in our garden but one young girl in Seattle is luckier than most. She feeds the crows in her garden - and they bring her gifts in return. Wonderful stuff, so magical that the girl has such a close bond with a wild creature.

But made me a bit sad as it reminded me that when I was young I had Magpies who would come to me and bring me shiny gifts. I reared a Magpie chick (his nest had been robbed - he was on the ground, barely alive and with no feathers yet) I fed him mashed stuff and, when he fledged I taught him to fly - and he then went off and came back with more magpie friends (wild ones) and got me to feed them. I loved him, and he would ride on my wrist like a hawk ( by his own choice - no jesses) when I rode my pony on the Common.

He used to bring me gifts of mainly shiny stuff - milk bottle rops, ring pulls from cans, bits of metal and washers, stuff like that. No gold or silver unfortunately!

Then the neighbouring farmer's teenaged son, knowing full well who he was, shot Magnus dead and nailed his body to our gate post. The total bastard. I was 9 at the time.

The memory of this made me sad at how Magnus had died,  but also happy to recollect an event which was so special in my life. I felt so blessed to have been a part of a wild bird's life in that manner.

So I went and dug out the only two photos I have of Magnus Magenpie 



This first one is of him just fledged and you can see the sheath still on his primaries  We have just had a flying lesson in that photo.

 

That's me in the picture,  with him on my arm, standing on Kempsey Common just next to our house.

Magnus learnt to talk and could say quite a few things  - his favourite saying was "magnus magenpie, pretty boy " and " come on, hurry up and feed me"  and he would tap in the window to wake me up so he could get me to open the window. He would then fly into my bedroom and tug on my hair until I got up and fed him. He frequently brought a number of "wilder" magpie friends with him - and obviously had communicated that I was "ok" as they, too, would come in and wait for food. This was 44 years ago. I still think of him :)

5 comments:

  1. What a lovely relationship:) I do think that friendships between species are especially wonderful. But what a horrible, hateful boy.

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  2. What a wonderful relationship you had with Magnus Magpie, such great memories, thank you for sharing!
    I am so sorry about your loss, even if it was 44 years ago! Nobody, especially not a young girl, should have to experience such a horrific deed, makes you wonder what became of the young man who committed this senseless crime.

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  3. What a ghastly thing for that beyond nasty boy to have done. I hope he was punished. Revolting character.
    It was a very special relationship for sure.

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  4. Thanks for your poignant story. I love your great red hair. My father had a family of magpies in country Australia that used to visit. He would imitate their warble and they would warble back... And then he would feed them. I have some video that I must make more accessible and share with family.

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  5. What a bittersweet story. I'm so sorry for your loss, which must have been so traumatic. Your poor little bird friend, but at least he did have a wonderful life with someone that loved him. You gave him that. I hope that vile, hateful (and surely, disturbed) boy got his comeuppance. Sometimes humans suck.

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