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Magpie   Listen
noun
Magpie  n.  (Zool.)
1.
Any one of numerous species of the genus Pica and related genera, allied to the jays, but having a long graduated tail.
2.
Any one of several black-and-white birds, such as Gymnorhina tibicen, not belonging to the genus Pica. Note: The common European magpie (Pica pica, or Pica caudata) is a black and white noisy and mischievous bird. It can be taught to speak. The American magpie (Pica Hudsonica) is very similar. The yellow-belled magpie (Pica Nuttalli) inhabits California. The blue magpie (Cyanopolius Cooki) inhabits Spain. Other allied species are found in Asia. The Tasmanian and Australian magpies are crow shrikes, as the white magpie (Gymnorhina organicum), the black magpie (Strepera fuliginosa), and the Australian magpie (Cracticus picatus).
3.
A talkative person; a chatterbox.
Magpie lark (Zool.), a common Australian bird (Grallina picata), conspicuously marked with black and white; called also little magpie.
Magpie moth (Zool.), a black and white European geometrid moth (Abraxas grossulariata); the harlequin moth. Its larva feeds on currant and gooseberry bushes.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Magpie" Quotes from Famous Books



... and has conduct and acts which are called rational, because he alone has Reason in himself. And if any one might wish to say, in contradiction, that a certain bird can speak, as appears true, especially of the magpie and of the parrot; and that some beast performs acts, or rather things, by rule, as appears in the ape and in some other; I reply that it is not true that they speak, nor that they have rules, because they have not Reason, from which these ...
— The Banquet (Il Convito) • Dante Alighieri

... animals was well known. At one time, according to Lady Hesketh, he had besides two dogs, two goldfinches, and two canaries, five rabbits, three hares, two guinea-pigs, a squirrel, a magpie, a jay, and a starling. In addition he had, at least, one cat, for Lady Hesketh says, "One evening the cat giving one of the hares a sound box on the ear, the hare ran after her, and having caught her, punished her by drumming on her back ...
— Concerning Cats - My Own and Some Others • Helen M. Winslow

... MAGPIE (Corvus pica).—Pages might be filled with the merry mischief of this handsome creature. Perhaps the most observable characteristic of the three tame ones closely observed was their exclusive and devoted attachment ...
— John Keble's Parishes • Charlotte M Yonge

... engineer saw a man sitting on the grass with Ruth Gardner and Imogene Martin, the three chatting and laughing gaily. When Bryant got a good look at the other visitor he gave vent to an ejaculation in which was blended surprise and contempt. "That magpie! Of all damn impudence!" For the cavalier so debonairly entertaining the young ladies was none other than the ...
— The Iron Furrow • George C. Shedd

... lady. Trembling with joy, and with heart fluttering more than the bridge of wings, she crossed the River of Heaven, and was in the arms of her husband. This she did every year. The lover-husband stayed on his side of the river, and the wife came to him on the magpie bridge, save on the sad occasion when it rained. So every year the people hope for clear weather, and the happy festival is celebrated alike ...
— Japanese Fairy World - Stories from the Wonder-Lore of Japan • William Elliot Griffis

... pinched brown, it hung around us like a cloak containing little comfort. I kept quite close to Peggy's head, and Peggy kept quite close to me, and pricked her ears at everything. However, we saw nothing there, except a few old owls and hawks, and a magpie sitting all alone, until we came to the bank of the hill, where the pony could not climb it. Uncle Ben was very loath to get off, because the pony seemed company, and he thought he could gallop away on her, if the worst ...
— Lorna Doone - A Romance of Exmoor • R. D. Blackmore

... gayly, and without effort, for he was very happy. Lady Belgrade chattered, because she was spiritually a magpie. And as both constantly appealed to "Mr. Scott," or to Salome, it was impossible for either of the lovers to relapse into awkward silence. The conversation was ...
— The Lost Lady of Lone • E.D.E.N. Southworth

... about the kitchen and banging doors. It required more tact than Gwen had ever made use of in her life before to keep the peace. Then Martin was no slight anxiety, for the little scamp thought he could take advantage of Beatrice's absence to get into as much mischief as a magpie, and Gwen hardly dared trust him five minutes out of her sight. Between Martin, household tasks, and certain parish duties which could not be omitted, there was plenty to be done, and the days seemed full ...
— The Youngest Girl in the Fifth - A School Story • Angela Brazil

... this word, Fr. pie, Lat. pica, with the comestible pie is uncertain, but it seems likely that the magpie's habit of collecting miscellaneous trifles caused its name to be given to a dish of uncertain constituents. It is a curious coincidence that the obsolete chuet or chewet meant both a round pie and a jackdaw.[30] ...
— The Romance of Words (4th ed.) • Ernest Weekley

... both by day and night, and by the variety of their songs, must necessarily have excited the fetishtic fancy of primitive men. The worship of birds was therefore universal, in connection with that of trees, meteors, and waters. They were supposed to cause storms; and the eagle, the falcon, the magpie, and some other birds brought the celestial fire on the earth. The worship of birds is also common in America, and in Central America the bird voc is the messenger of Hurakau, the god of storms. The magic-doctors of the Cri, of the Arikari, ...
— Myth and Science - An Essay • Tito Vignoli

... was a simple soul after all, went where he was led, and Florent Guillaume supped on the leg and wing of a goose, the bones whereof he put in his pocket as a present for Madame Ysabeau, his fellow lodger in the timbers of the steeple,—to wit, Jean Magne the bell-ringer's magpie. ...
— The Merrie Tales Of Jacques Tournebroche - 1909 • Anatole France

... magpie, and alone!" cried Kenric, seeing the bird in his path. "That is ill luck indeed! Give me some salt from your wallet, Lulach, for if this sign reads true then it were unwise in me to go farther without some salt in ...
— The Thirsty Sword • Robert Leighton

... quite close to us, we must stand back to give them room. Chrysantheme all at once assumes a suitable air of gravity, and Yves bares his head, taking off the magpie's nest. ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... tint below, in hue above, 'Tis little deeper than a Dove! In fact, looked at in a strong light, 'Tis scarce distinguishable from white!" "White!" yelled a third, with rage half throttled, "With jet-black streaks 'tis thickly mottled. If not pure Raven, all must own No Magpie hath a ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 98, March 1, 1890 • Various

... applied to practical improvements in the arts, or how they could lead to the solution of any of the great problems in science. Here we must again observe, that judgment saved the labour of memory. A person, who sets about to collect facts at random, is little better than a magpie, who picks up and lays by any odd bits of money he can light upon, ...
— Practical Education, Volume II • Maria Edgeworth

... shrivelled hands in closing the drawer, with a force that made her cry aloud, and, when released, wring it with agony, that drew some words in the vernacular. "What makes you suppose Miss Monfort wants to hear your chattering, old magpie that you are?" continued Mrs. Clayton, throwing off her mask. "Now walk very straight, or the police shall have you next time you steal from a companion. Remember who rescued you on the Latona, and on what conditions, ...
— Miriam Monfort - A Novel • Catherine A. Warfield

... [Lat.], cacoethes loquendi [Lat.]; furor loquendi [Lat.]; verbosity &c (diffuseness) 573; gift of the gab &c (eloquence) 582. talker; chatterer, chatterbox; babbler &c v.; rattle; ranter; sermonizer, proser^, driveler; blatherskite [U.S.]; gossip &c (converse) 588; magpie, jay, parrot, poll, Babel; moulin a paroles [Fr.]. V. be loquacious &c adj.; talk glibly, pour forth, patter; prate, palaver, prose, chatter, prattle, clack, jabber, jaw; blather, blatter^, blether^; rattle, rattle on; twaddle, twattle; babble, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... goes up the big green hill, in trenches and saps of reddish clay, to the plateau or tableland at the top. Right up on the top, well behind our front line and close to one of our communication trenches, there is a good big hawthorn bush, in which a magpie has built her nest. This bush, which is strangely beautiful in the spring, has given to the plateau the name ...
— The Old Front Line • John Masefield

... of a floating moon is unbelievable. It is a figment of dream. The metal-silver ball that hung at the top of the Christmas tree, or, earlier still, the shining thing, necklace or spoon, the thing the baby leans to catch ... the magpie in us.... ...
— A Diary Without Dates • Enid Bagnold

... trace the influence of three systems of construction. First in dignity, as in age, stands the cottage or old English style, claiming descent from the heavy Tudor mansions of rude stone, rough hewn timber, and white concrete filling, usually termed "magpie work," from the startling contrast between their white panels and tarred timbers. Of these old mansions numerous examples still remain: they were, for the most part, erected during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, but in a few instances a much earlier date may be assigned. ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, November 1885 • Various

... striking you as you pass under; they lie on the ground in pocketfuls. Specks of brilliant scarlet dot the grass like some bright berries blown from the bushes; but on stooping to pick them, they are found to be the heads of a fungus. Near by lies a black magpie's feather, spotted ...
— Field and Hedgerow • Richard Jefferies

... word, mother, I don't know and scarcely care; I tried to persuade Daddy Loriot, who chatters like a magpie, to return to his cellar, since it could signify as little to him as to me, whether a spy watched him or not." So saying, Agricola went and placed the little leathern sack, containing his wages, on a shelf, in ...
— The Wandering Jew, Complete • Eugene Sue

... a leather tanner, whom Jo's baby magpie mistook for its parent, as he fed it at intervals every morning. A Czech in typhus cloths spent his days down in the disinfecting, operating and bathrooms. He had been an overseer in a factory and had added to his income by writing love-stories for the papers. A butcher was installed in ...
— The Luck of Thirteen - Wanderings and Flight through Montenegro and Serbia • Jan Gordon

... much since Alora's disappearance, but they took Josie in to dinner, realizing it would be impossible to get her to talk seriously or to listen to them until she was quite ready to do so. And during the meal Josie chattered away like a magpie on all sorts of subjects except that which weighed most heavily on their minds, and the little thing was so bright and entertaining that they were encouraged to dine more heartily than they otherwise ...
— Mary Louise Solves a Mystery • L. Frank Baum

... subalterns: and Major Hunt, in his turn, had liked the two Australian boys, who, whatever their faults of carelessness or ignorance, were never anything but keen. Now, in his delight at meeting his senior officer again, Wally chattered away like a magpie, asking questions, telling Irish fishing-stories, and other stories of adventures in Ireland, hazarding wild opinions about the war, and generally manifesting a cheerful disregard of the fact that the tired man opposite him was not a subaltern as irresponsible as himself. Somehow, the ...
— Captain Jim • Mary Grant Bruce

... shot at. It was really a hang choice. As I stood swithering and shaking, the laddie flew to the door, and, thrawing round the key, clapped his back to it. Oh! how I looked at him, as he stood for a gliff, like a magpie hearkening with his lug cocked up, or rather like a terrier watching a rotten. "They're coming! they're coming!" he cried out; "cock the piece, ye sumph;" while the red hair rose up from his pow like feathers; "they're ...
— The Life of Mansie Wauch - Tailor in Dalkeith, written by himself • David Macbeth Moir

... said when no answer came, "I cannot understand what sadness can be found in our topic, nor what can burden your mind, but one thing I can see, that today you all are like a herd of thoughtless sheep with whom nothing can be done. Kaetheli, you magpie, can you stop a moment and listen to what I am saying? You all are going home. I have had enough, and everyone—do you understand?—everyone takes home some home-work for punishment. As you go out, come to my desk, one after the other, and each ...
— Erick and Sally • Johanna Spyri

... Like the Magpie, the Jay has considerable talent for mimicry, and in a state of domestication may be taught to articulate words like a Parrot. At certain times I have heard this bird utter a few notes resembling the tinkle of a bell, and which, if syllabled, might form such ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 17, March, 1859 • Various

... the "Magpie and Stump," referred to in the twenty-first chapter of Pickwick,—where that hero spent an interesting evening on the invitation of Lowten (Mr. Perker's clerk), and heard "the old man's tale about the queer client,"—is supposed to have been "The old George the IVth" in Clare Market, close by. ...
— A Week's Tramp in Dickens-Land • William R. Hughes

... A handsome magpie, and, of course, a contingent of crows, made up the fascinating party; while in the background, among the neem trees and the flaming "gold mohurs," the minahs and green parrots sustained ...
— A Holiday in the Happy Valley with Pen and Pencil • T. R. Swinburne

... Miss Amelia, do go quietly to bed, like a dear love. The field is all wet with dew. Besides, it's a moonlight night, and who knows what's abroad? You might see the fairies—bless us and sain us!—and what not. There's been a magpie hopping up and down near the house all day, and that's a sign ...
— The Brownies and Other Tales • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... found that his wife had fled, and pursued her on horseback. The poor fugitive, seeing her ring turn black, turned off the road and hid herself till night in the cabin of a shepherd, where there was only an old magpie in a cage at the door, and here her baby was born. Comorre, who had given up the pursuit, was returning home by that road, when he heard the magpie trying to imitate her complaints and calling out "Poor Triphyna!" Guessing that his wife had passed that ...
— Legends & Romances of Brittany • Lewis Spence

... they are continually harassed by the natives, perhaps to eat them as food, certainly to get possession of their feathers, which they use as ornaments. Those which frequent the woods, are crows and ravens, not at all different from our English ones, a blueish jay or magpie, common wrens, which are the only singing bird that we heard, the Canadian or migrating thrush, and a considerable number of brown eagles, with white heads and tails, which, though they seem principally ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16 • Robert Kerr

... Priggin, haggling. Primsie, dim. of prim, precise. Proveses, provosts. Pu', to pull. Puddock-stools, toadstools, mushrooms. Puir, poor. Pun', pund, pound. Pursie, dim. of purse. Pussie, a hare. Pyet, a magpie. Pyke, to ...
— Poems And Songs Of Robert Burns • Robert Burns

... The magpie listened, hopped awhile from branch to branch, and then darted away, the princess watching him anxiously as ...
— The Brown Fairy Book • Andrew Lang

... this, a magpie came down to tell all the fowls in the yard that one of Snowdrop's ducklings had been eaten by a rat, and that a second had been ...
— Dick and His Cat and Other Tales • Various

... his face, with an opening proper for the mouth, and shap'd in form for the nose; but, in the first scene, one part of the crape slip'd off. 'And zounds!' said he (he was a little apt to swear), 'I look'd like a magpie. When I came off, they lamp-black'd me for the rest of the night, that I was flayed before it could be ...
— The Palmy Days of Nance Oldfield • Edward Robins

... I bent his ribs; but they sprang all right under the vet's thumb. Tell me, why does our baronial friend look so vinegary? He chattered like a magpie in the police bureau, or whatever ...
— A Son of the Immortals • Louis Tracy

... pate Is blue, is heavenly blue with slate; She "wings the midway air" elate, As magpie, crow, or chough; White paint her modish visage smears, Yellow and pointed are her ears, No pendent portico appears Dangling beneath, for Whitbread's shears {51} Have cut ...
— Rejected Addresses: or, The New Theatrum Poetarum • James and Horace Smith

... him a moment, and with a chuckling laugh, such as that with which a magpie or parrot applauds a successful exploit of mischief, he resumed once more the road to Fairport. His habits had given him a sort of restlessness, much increased by the pleasure he took in gathering news; and in a short ...
— The Antiquary, Complete • Sir Walter Scott

... vulture would have capitally typified many of the wars of the state, their sole purpose being so many carcases—whilst, for the courts of law, the magpie would have been the very bird of ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, August 14, 1841 • Various

... like a magpie, for she had many questions to ask Uncle Steve, and as she was looking out to renew acquaintance with old landmarks along the road, the drive to the house seemed very short, and soon they were turning ...
— Marjorie's Vacation • Carolyn Wells

... chatted like a magpie, and little Maud fidgeted, till Tom proposed to put her under the big dish cover, which produced such an explosion that the young lady was borne screaming away by ...
— McGuffey's Fifth Eclectic Reader • William Holmes McGuffey

... was not till after he had had his shot that he returned the young man's salutation. Then he took a seat astride the log and offered some commonplace information about a nest of joeys in a neighboring tree and a tame magpie that had escaped, and was teaching all the other magpies in Wilson's paddocks to whistle a jig and curse like a drover. But he got down to his point rather ...
— The Gold-Stealers - A Story of Waddy • Edward Dyson

... a man in Colorado found a magpie by the roadside. Its wings had been clipped, so that it could not fly. The man gave it to a little ...
— The Nursery, No. 169, January, 1881, Vol. XXIX - A Monthly Magazine for Youngest Readers • Various

... not at home, but her little niece, who lives with her, a child of four years old, said that Aunt Mary would be in directly, and asked me to walk into the parlour. I did so, and the little thing stood by my side chattering away like a magpie. In reply to my questions as to whether she liked to live with her aunt, what she amused herself with, &c., &c., she entered into a long account of her various playthings, and ended by saying that she would show me a beautiful new doll which her good uncle had given her, ...
— Friends and Neighbors - or Two Ways of Living in the World • Anonymous

... I should feel QUITE well if he only felt my pulse," said Duchess, backing away from the magpie, who sidled up with ...
— A Collection of Beatrix Potter Stories • Beatrix Potter

... cover to the object end of my spy-glass; and as it will probably remain there undisturbed by Indians, it will furnish matter of speculation to some future traveler. In our excursions about the island, we did not meet with any kind of animal; a magpie, and another larger bird, probably attracted by the smoke of our fire, paid us a visit from the shore, and were the only living things seen during our stay. The rock constituting the cliffs along the shore where we were encamped, is ...
— The Life and Adventures of Kit Carson, the Nestor of the Rocky Mountains, from Facts Narrated by Himself • De Witt C. Peters

... island—eagles, falcons, kites, hawks, ravens, crows, and last, but in cunning and destructive propensity not the least, the "magpies." These birds exist in such numbers that unless steps are taken to destroy them it will be hopeless to expect any increase of game. When a magpie wakes in the early morning his first thought is mischief, and during the breeding season there is no bird who makes egg-hunting so especially his occupation. Upon the treeless plains of Cyprus every nest ...
— Cyprus, as I Saw it in 1879 • Sir Samuel W. Baker

... Doubleday, "come along with us to-night, old man; we've got a little spree on, haven't we, Crow? We're going to get tea and shrimps at the Magpie, and then going in a body to the Serio-Comics, and finish up with a supper somewhere or other. Going to make a regular night ...
— My Friend Smith - A Story of School and City Life • Talbot Baines Reed

... a remarkable sensation among the party. Some of the birds hurried off at once; one old Magpie began wrapping itself up very carefully, remarking "I really must be getting home; the night-air doesn't suit my throat!" and a Canary called out in a trembling voice to its children "Come away, my dears! It's high time you were all in bed!" On various pretexts ...
— Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Illustrated by Arthur Rackham. With a Proem by Austin Dobson • Lewis Carroll

... suggested that the birds carry the nuts for the four-footed people, but they answered that they had all they could do to feed themselves and couldn't spare the time. And Grandmother Magpie said she wouldn't carry nuts for anybody, even if she had all the time that was wasted every day by some people right there in ...
— Little Jack Rabbit and the Squirrel Brothers • David Cory

... that category. Their life was a peaceful one, except on Fridays, when Mrs. Burton received seventy bosom and particular friends, and talked to them at the top of her voice in faulty German, Italian, which she spoke fluently, or slangy English. [277] In the insipid conversation of this "magpie sanhedrin," "these hen parties," as he called them, Burton did not join, but went on with his work as if no one was present. Indeed, far from complaining, he remarked philosophically that if the rooms ...
— The Life of Sir Richard Burton • Thomas Wright

... have shown unmistakable signs of uneasiness and distress. The raven has croaked in a high-pitched, abnormal key; the jackdaw and canary have become silent and dejected, from time to time shivering; the magpie even has feigned death; the parrot has shrieked incessantly. Owls, too, are sure predictors of death, and may be heard hooting in the most doleful manner outside the house of anyone doomed to ...
— Animal Ghosts - Or, Animal Hauntings and the Hereafter • Elliott O'Donnell

... a magpie in the magnolia tree was carolling as though he knew it was a special morning, and that he had a special message to deliver. The linen blinds were rolled tight up, and she could see him near one of the great creamy blossoms, each ...
— Mates at Billabong • Mary Grant Bruce

... diamond-shaped panes of glass, and were four in number, one on each side of the door and two just under the roof. The door was made of two transverse parts, the upper half of which was open. On one side was a basket-like cage containing a magpie, and on the other, a cat lay extended on a bench, dozing in the warmth of the sun. The blue smoke, curling upwards from a crooked chimney, afforded proof of ...
— The Attache - or, Sam Slick in England, Complete • Thomas Chandler Haliburton

... said the man named Dubble, bringing his great fist down on the table with a force that made the tankards jump. "My darter, she's larned to play the pianner, an' I'm dorned if she kin do anythin' else! Just a gillflurt she is, an' as sassy as a magpie. That's what eddication 'as made of 'er an' ...
— The Treasure of Heaven - A Romance of Riches • Marie Corelli

... rapidity with which they continued their course, convinced him that they must have gone with a speed equal to that of the most distinguished race-horse. Among our acquisitions to-day were a mule-deer, a magpie, a common deer, and buffalo: Captain Lewis also saw a hare, and killed a rattlesnake near the burrows of ...
— First Across the Continent • Noah Brooks

... non-migratory birds are really, for the most part, strangers acclimatized by long sojourn. Some of them—the turtledove, the magpie, the kingfisher, the partridge, and the sparrow-may be classed with our European species, while others betray their equatorial origin in the brightness of their colours. White and black ibises, red flamingoes, pelicans, and cormorants enliven the waters of the river, and animate the reedy swamps ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 1 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... door in wicker cage, A Magpie hung to view; Whose prattling tongue would oft assuage, ...
— The Maid and the Magpie - An Interesting Tale Founded on Facts • Charles Moreton

... song for the thousandth time, the boy rode over the place. He put his hands up to his mouth, as a pipe, and called: "The magpie will get them. The ...
— The Wonderful Adventures of Nils • Selma Lagerlof

... dew of the dawning clung to each giant limb, Till the sun came up from ocean, red with the cold sea mist, And smote on the limestone ridges, and the shining tree-tops kissed; Then the fiery Scorpion vanished, the magpie's note was heard, And the wind in the she-oak wavered, and the honeysuckles stirred, The airy golden vapour rose from the river breast, The kingfisher came darting out of his crannied nest, And the bulrushes and reed-beds put off their sallow gray And burnt with cloudy crimson at dawning ...
— An Anthology of Australian Verse • Bertram Stevens

... which means capital of the Buriats, were two typical Mongols with pigtails and clad in skins. One of them was wearing an official tassel attached to his skin hood, but no official button to show his rank. To-day saw a flock of larks, a hawk and a magpie. From daylight till dark, during which time we travelled a distance of perhaps 300 miles, there was no vestige of either trees, shrubs, banks or hedges, and no cultivation, only the rolling grass lands slightly whitened ...
— Through Siberia and Manchuria By Rail • Oliver George Ready

... was the cause of some of my ill luck in life, and I hope she is uncomfortable, wherever she is. I think with satisfaction that I helped to make her life uneasy when I was young, and worse later on. She gave away to the idle poor some of her small income, and hid the rest, like a magpie, in her Bible or rolled in her stockings, or in even queerer places. The worst of her was that she could tell what people said by looking at their lips; this I hated. But as I grew and became intelligent, her ways of hiding her money proved useful, ...
— The Autobiography of a Quack And The Case Of George Dedlow • S. Weir Mitchell

... friend of Mr. Tulkinghorn," pipes Grandfather Smallweed then; "I did business with him. I was useful to him, and he was useful to me. Krook, dead and gone, was my brother-in-law. He was own brother to a brimstone magpie—leastways Mrs. Smallweed. I come into Krook's property. I examined all his papers and all his effects. They was all dug out under my eyes. There was a bundle of letters belonging to a dead and gone lodger as was hid away at the back of a shelf in the side of Lady Jane's bed—his cat's bed. ...
— Bleak House • Charles Dickens

... my heart's bird! Slight and small the lovely cry Came trickling down, but no one heard. Parrot and cuckoo, crow, magpie Jarred horrid notes and the jangling jay Ripped the fine threads of song away, For why should peeping chick aspire To ...
— Country Sentiment • Robert Graves

... Magpie," he said carelessly. "You had better run home now to mother. Your chatter makes ...
— A Beautiful Possibility • Edith Ferguson Black

... pet blue-jay that she had taken when young from its nest, and it would do many comical things. It seemed to have a sense of humor, like a magpie, and to enjoy a theft like that bird. She finally gave it the freedom of the air, but it would return at her call for food and eat from her hand. The blue-jay is naturally a very wild bird, but when it is tamed it becomes very inquisitive ...
— The Log School-House on the Columbia • Hezekiah Butterworth

... flashes of the herb called Snow-on-the-Mountain. The inhabitants were jackrabbits, or American magpies in sharp black and white livery, forever trying to balance their huge tails against the wind, and yelling in low-magpie ...
— Free Air • Sinclair Lewis

... some minutes, still half asleep, gazing at the black face, which seemed to be somehow connected with his dreams and with the soft sweet piping of the magpie crows, which were apparently practising their scales prior to joining in the morning outburst of song, while the great kingfishers—the laughing jackasses of the colonists—sat here and there uttering their discordant sounds, like coarse, harsh laughter, ...
— The Dingo Boys - The Squatters of Wallaby Range • G. Manville Fenn

... Beaver, Old Mother Magpie, Timmy Chipmunk, Scatterbrains, the gray squirrel, and Shadow Tail, his brother. Daddy Fox would like to have been there, only Uncle Lucky hadn't sent him an invitation. The only friend who wasn't there was Uncle Bullfrog. He couldn't leave his log in the ...
— Billy Bunny and Uncle Bull Frog • David Magie Cory

... valley rings with mirth and joy, Among the hills the Echoes play A never, never ending song To welcome in the May. The Magpie chatters with delight; ...
— Lyrical Ballads with Other Poems, 1800, Vol. 2 • William Wordsworth

... became the object of Boswell's magpie curiosity; and to Boswell's Life of Johnson we are indebted for many of the details of Goldsmith's life,—his homeliness, his awkward ways, his drolleries and absurdities, which made him alternately the butt and the wit of the famous Literary Club. Boswell disliked Goldsmith, ...
— English Literature - Its History and Its Significance for the Life of the English Speaking World • William J. Long

... into it, and, behold, it was full of coloured pictures of birds. And such birds! In the garden, and in the lanes when he went for a walk, Nicholas came across a few birds, of which the largest were an occasional magpie or wood-pigeon; here were herons and bustards, kites, toucans, tiger-bitterns, brush turkeys, ibises, golden pheasants, a whole portrait gallery of undreamed-of creatures. And as he was admiring the colouring of the mandarin duck and assigning a life-history ...
— Beasts and Super-Beasts • Saki

... unwholesome kind which tells a tale of bad health, late hours and penury, and almost always of a bad disposition. The best description of him may be given in two familiar expressions—he was sharp and snappish. His cracked voice suited his sour face, meagre look, and magpie eyes of no particular color. A magpie eye, according to Napoleon, is a sure sign of dishonesty. "Look at So-and-so," he said to Las Cases at Saint Helena, alluding to a confidential servant whom he had been obliged to dismiss for malversation. ...
— Eve and David • Honore de Balzac

... examining everything that happened below by bending its head attentively, now on one side then on the other. It evidently took intelligent interest in our doings. My men had gone out to do their cooking. The bird watched them with the greatest attention—with jerky movements not unlike those of a magpie. ...
— Across Unknown South America • Arnold Henry Savage Landor

... at Shiraz, a place which possesses a climate so temperate and equable as to bring together the birds and fruits of the East and West, North and South; for there I saw and heard the Indian bulbul and the hoopoe, the European nightingale, the cuckoo, and the magpie, and I know that the fruits range ...
— Persia Revisited • Thomas Edward Gordon

... and he looked as if it could have been no other bird than a magpie; 'has been whispering among us lawyers lately, that there is to be an addition to the titled personages ...
— Little Dorrit • Charles Dickens

... buckhorn, upon which he leaned as old peasants do in plays, formed such an image as recalled to me the picture of the old man in the illustrations in "The Dairyman's Daughter." He was as garrulous as a magpie, and as opinionated as a Southern white always is. Halting in front of our car, he steadied himself by planting his staff, clasping it with both lean and skinny hands, and leaning forward upon it, his jaws then addressed ...
— Andersonville, complete • John McElroy

... at her whimsically. "I hope I'm a credit to your training! Two new pets is quite a modest demand. I've known her to have a dozen or two at a time. One summer she had twin lambs, a magpie, a lizard, bunnies—" ...
— Blue Bonnet's Ranch Party • C. E. Jacobs

... him two days later he lay with his head pillowed upon his left arm, his right hand outspread upon the pine leaves—palm upward as if to show its emptiness. A bird—the roguish gray magpie—had stolen away the phial as if in consideration of the dead man's wish, and no sign of his last despairing act was visible to those who looked into his face. His going was well planned. Self-murder was never written opposite ...
— Money Magic - A Novel • Hamlin Garland

... and blushed, stammered a word or two, and sat by Rita on the rocky bench. She was silent and shy for a moment, but Williams easily loosened her tongue and she went off like a magpie. Billy used to say that Sukey was the modern incarnation of the ...
— A Forest Hearth: A Romance of Indiana in the Thirties • Charles Major

... people! Yes, my San Reve, the hand of the coward Harley shakes as he lifts his glass; the fair, proud Dorothy shows me my triumph in her whitened cheek and frightened eye. And best of all, the empty chatter of the magpie Mrs. Hanway-Harley—who knows nothing, being a fool! It is that magpie chatter to be poison in the ears of the others! Oh, you should behold them, my San Reve! You should witness how they writhe and how they tremble in ...
— The President - A novel • Alfred Henry Lewis

... happiness and the hurry of our final preparations His bolt fell. It struck me while I was at the—don't laugh; rather shudder—at the dressmaker's shop in Fourteenth Street. I was leaning over a table, chattering like a magpie over the way I wanted a gown trimmed, when my eye fell on a scrap of newspaper in which something had come rolled to madame. It was torn at the edge, but on the bit lying under my eyes I saw my husband's name, William Pfeiffer, and that the ...
— The Filigree Ball • Anna Katharine Green

... rising. "I promised Lottie a ride in my car. I'll meet her before she comes in. I suppose she is as inquisitive as a magpie?" ...
— The Mission of Janice Day • Helen Beecher Long

... in his hands, standing beside him. "Do you like birds' eggs? I collect them. I got twenty-five kinds—sage-hen, an' blue grouse, an' willow-grouse, an' lots more kinds harder—but I couldn't bring all them from Laramie. I brought the magpie's, though. D' you care to see a magpie egg? Well, you stay to-morrow an' I'll show you that en' some other things I got the engine-man lets me keep there, for there's boys that would steal an egg. An' I could take you where we could ...
— Lin McLean • Owen Wister

... the grass and the daisies; and over there, on the other side, a strip of forest, with the sunlight shining along one side of the tall and dark-green pines. As they drove down into this place, which is called the Rocky Valley, a magpie rose from one of the fields and flew up ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Vol. XV., No. 85. January, 1875. • Various

... yearly trip up the river. Even as we sat in the two punts playing bridge, moored at our first camping-place below Kingston Weir, disquieting rumours reached us in the form of excited questions from the occupants of passing craft. And now, as we rose from the dinner-table at the Magpie, Sunbury, two days later, it seemed that war ...
— The Mystery of the Green Ray • William Le Queux

... as are most admired in others, she affects a loquacity peculiarly flippant and teazing because scandal, routs, finery, fans, china, lovers, lap-dogs, or squirrels, are her constant themes. Her amusements, like those of a magpie, are only hopping over the same spots, prying into the same corners, and devouring the same species of prey. The simple and beautiful delineations of nature, in her countenance, gestures and whole deportment, are habitually arranged, distorted, ...
— Sketches of the Fair Sex, in All Parts of the World • Anonymous

... the fir-wood that slopes down the hills to the sea Still is haunted, perhaps, by young pirates as wicked as we: Though the fir with the magpie's big mud-plastered nest used to hide it so well, And the boys in the gang had to swear that they never ...
— Collected Poems - Volume One (of 2) • Alfred Noyes

... people there, who are now called Aiyhokwi by the Zui. They finally reached Tusayan by way of Awatubi. They had been preceded from the same part of New Mexico by the Honan nyumu (the Badger people), whom they found living at the last-named village. The Magpie, the Pute Khu (Boomerang-shaped hunting stick), and the Field-mouse families of the Asa remained and built beside the Badger, but the rest of its groups continued across to the Walpi Mesa. They were not at first permitted to come up to Walpi, which ...
— A Study of Pueblo Architecture: Tusayan and Cibola • Victor Mindeleff and Cosmos Mindeleff

... form could be discerned in the dark, then slowly, by degrees, a little man, four and a half feet high at the most, frail, ragged, his face withered and yellow, his eye gleaming like a magpie's, and his hair ...
— Library of the World's Best Mystery and Detective Stories • Edited by Julian Hawthorne

... Nancy, mimicking the Irishman, "and I'll be as silent as a magpie, any how. And, Mr Fitzpatrick, you'll just be plased to keep your two eyes upon your prisoner, and not be staring at me, following me up and down, as you do, with those twinklers ...
— Snarley-yow - or The Dog Fiend • Frederick Marryat

... But all the other things she had of our Mother's were there: a perfect magpie's nest! And she, living in her boxes, and never settling anywhere. What did she want ...
— Angels & Ministers • Laurence Housman

... greatly the various kinds of cabbage differ in appearance. In the Island of Jersey, from the effects of particular culture and of climate a stalk has grown to the height of sixteen feet, and "had its spring shoots at the top occupied by a magpie's nest:" the woody stems are not unfrequently from ten to twelve feet in height, and are there used as rafters (9/64. 'Cabbage Timber' 'Gardener's Chronicle' 1856 page 744, quoted from Hooker 'Journal of Botany.' A walking-stick made from a cabbage-stalk ...
— The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication - Volume I • Charles Darwin

... volumes rest Like treasures in the Franch'mont chest, While gripple owners still refuse To others what they cannot use: Give them the priest's whole century, They shall not spell you letters three; Their pleasure in the books the same The magpie takes in pilfer'd gem. Thy volumes, open as thy heart, Delight, amusement, science, art, To every ear and eye impart; Yet who of all who thus employ them, Can, like ...
— The Book-Hunter in London - Historical and Other Studies of Collectors and Collecting • William Roberts

... a great storm arose and lightning struck the statue, angrily hurling the scales from the left hand of the figure of Justice. They fell to the pavement with a clatter and in one of the shattered nests was found the pearl necklace. It had been stolen by a magpie who had cunningly woven the string of pearls into the clay wall of her babies' cradle. So the poor girl was proven innocent and the people of that city were taught to be more ...
— The Junior Classics • Various

... at Paris the millers' and the changers' bridges, in length, size, weight, and iron-work, he at a mile's distance would open an oyster and never touch the edges; he would snuff a candle without putting it out; would shoot a magpie in the eye; take off a boot's under-sole, or a riding-hood's lining, without soiling them a bit; turn over every leaf of Friar John's breviary, one after another, and not ...
— Gargantua and Pantagruel, Complete. • Francois Rabelais

... the bush my ears were opened to the singing of the bird, But the 'carol of the magpie' was a thing I never heard. Once the beggar roused my slumbers in a shanty, it is true, But I only heard him asking, 'Who the blanky blank are you?' And the bell-bird in the ranges — but his 'silver chime' is harsh ...
— In the Days When the World Was Wide and Other Verses • Henry Lawson

... The squire grew purple and all, And every little chorister bestrode his carven stall. The parson flapped like a magpie, but none could hear his prayers; For Tom Fool flourished his tabor, Flourished his nut-brown tabor, Bashed the head of the sexton, ...
— The Lord of Misrule - And Other Poems • Alfred Noyes

... skinny arms all covered with anchors and arrows and letters, tattooed in with gunpowder like a sailor-boy's, and a stink fit to knock you down coming out. 'Twas all the Doctor could do to stand his ground, and East and I, who were looking in under his arms, held our noses tight. The old magpie was standing on the window-sill, all his feathers drooping, and looking ...
— Tom Brown's Schooldays • Thomas Hughes

... familiar in New Zealand as in their native lands. The sombre pines of California and the macro carpa cypress cover thousands of acres. The merino sheep brought from Spain, via Saxony and Australia, is the basis of the flocks. The black swan and magpie represent the birds of New Holland. The Indian minah, after becoming common, is said to be retreating before the English starling. The first red deer came from Germany. And side by side with these strangers ...
— The Long White Cloud • William Pember Reeves

... a deep anxiety, some human midge or mosquito buzzes at him. It is a rule. To Dodd, heavy with responsibility, and a dark misgiving he must not communicate, came delicately, and by degrees, and with a semigenuflexion every three steps, one like a magpie; and, putting his hands together, as our children do to approach the Almighty, delivered himself thus, in modulated tones, and good Hindostanee. "The Daughter of light, in whose beams I, Ramgolam, bask, glows with an amicable desire to see the lord commander of the ship ...
— Hard Cash • Charles Reade

... animals. We must, however, lament that, although he does full justice to the "half-reasoning elephant," to the aptitude and fidelity of the dog, to the marvellous economical arrangements of the bees, and even to the imitative capacity of the magpie, he pays no higher tribute to the merits of the cat than that she is as capable of being amused as himself, and like himself, too, has her periods of gravity when recreative sports are distasteful. Her social qualities he does not allude to, though he, so eminently social himself, could scarcely ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 5, No. 3, March, 1852 • Various

... a jury. At once the torrent of her words Alarmed cat, monkey, dogs, and birds: All join their forces to confound her; Puss spits, the monkey chatters round her; 30 The yelping cur her heels assaults; The magpie blabs out all her faults; Poll, in the uproar, from his cage, With this rebuke out-screamed her rage: 'A parrot is for talking prized, But prattling women are despised. She who attacks another's honour, Draws every living thing upon her. Think, ...
— The Poetical Works of Addison; Gay's Fables; and Somerville's Chase • Joseph Addison, John Gay, William Sommerville

... partridges in abundance, and snipe and wild-fowl resorted to the river in winter. Thither also, at all seasons, repaired the stately heron, to devour the finny race; and thither came, on like errand, the splendidly-plumed kingfisher. The magpie chattered, the jay screamed and flew deeper into the woods as the horsemen approached, and the shy bittern hid herself amid the rushes. Occasionally, too, was heard the deep ...
— The Lancashire Witches - A Romance of Pendle Forest • William Harrison Ainsworth

... reversed, and with a coronet on the top, silvered, while the vehicle itself was, melon-like, fluted, alternately black, with silver figures, and white with black landscapes; and with white draperies, embroidered with black and silver, floating from the windows. Four lacqueys, in the same magpie-colouring, stood behind, and outriders followed; but as the cavalcade approached the group by the road-side, one of the horsemen paused, saying lightly, 'Over near the walls from an affair of honour! Has he caught it badly? Who ...
— The Chaplet of Pearls • Charlotte M. Yonge

... this bird had a nest there, though the place was too inaccessible to be examined closely. The trees, however, at the Vallon or Woodlands would be much more likely nesting-places, especially as it might have an opportunity of appropriating a deserted nest of a Magpie or a Wood Pigeon, rather a favourite nesting-place ...
— Birds of Guernsey (1879) • Cecil Smith

... smooth-skinned species, a conclusion that might well have been expected. Certain smooth caterpillars however appear to be protected by producing some nauseous secretion, which renders them unpalatable. Many of these, as the familiar cream yellow and black larva of the Magpie Moth (Abraxas grossulariata), are very conspicuously adorned, and furnish examples of what is known as 'warning coloration,' on the supposition that the gaudy aspect of such insects serves as an advertisement that they are not fit to eat, and that birds and other possible devourers ...
— The Life-Story of Insects • Geo. H. Carpenter

... up," answered a Magpie, who hopped about from morning till night in Lilla's garden, ...
— Little Folks (October 1884) - A Magazine for the Young • Various

... the same source. For anglers, in spring, it is always unluckly to see single magpies; but two may always be regarded as a favourable omen; and the reason is, that in cold and stormy weather, one magpie alone leaves the nest in search of food, the other remaining sitting upon the eggs of the young ones: but, when two go out together, it is only when the weather is mild and warm, ...
— Thaumaturgia • An Oxonian

... various species not known in Europe. Bird-names, fish-names, plant-names, are sometimes transferred to new species, sometimes to a new genus, sometimes to an entirely different Natural Order, bearing a resemblance to the original, either real or fancied, as for instance "Magpie." It is hardly necessary to dwell longer on this point, for almost every page of the ...
— A Dictionary of Austral English • Edward Morris

... The American magpie talks beautifully; but I regret to say that I do not understand a word of its language. One summer we had several fine specimens in the great flying-cage, with the big and showy waterfowl, condor, griffon vulture, ravens and crows. One of those magpies often came ...
— The Minds and Manners of Wild Animals • William T. Hornaday

... black showing distinctly on the level brown earth recently harrowed or rolled. On such a surface birds are visible at a distance; but when the blades of the corn begin to reach any height such as alight are concealed. In many districts of the country that might be called wild and lonely, the magpie is almost extinct. Once now and then a pair may be observed, and those who know their haunts can, of course, find them, but to a visitor passing through, there seems none. But here, so near the metropolis, the magpies are common, and during ...
— Nature Near London • Richard Jefferies

... walking along, Borrow's eyes, which were as long-sighted as a gypsy's, perceived a white speck in a twisted old hawthorn bush some distance off. He stopped and said: "At first I thought that white speck in the bush was a piece of paper, but it's a magpie," next to the water- wagtail the gypsies' most famous bird. On going up to the bush they discovered a magpie crouched among the leaves. As it did not stir at their approach, Borrow's friend said to him: "It is wounded—or else dying—or is it a tame ...
— The Romany Rye - A Sequel to 'Lavengro' • George Borrow

... the hideous, unearthly cry of the laughing-jackass, called often the bushman's clock; the screaming cry of thousands of parrots flying here and there through the forest; there was the cackle of the wattle-bird, the clear notes of the magpie, and the confused chattering of thousands of leather-heads; while many other birds added their notes to the discordant chorus, and speedily banished sleep from the eyes of their hearers. The stockmen started to their feet, and hurried ...
— The Gilpins and their Fortunes - A Story of Early Days in Australia • William H. G. Kingston

... A magpie cawing flies away. Great wooden shoes come running over flags. A courtyard, is it?—If so above a valley—from whence that softened clamour of birds and ...
— Chantecler - Play in Four Acts • Edmond Rostand

... this deponent, he, this deponent, did again distinguish himself, and that the cheering at that time, accompanied with clapping of hands and stamping of feet, was in this deponent's case thundering and awful. And this deponent further saith, that his white-and-black or magpie waistcoat, did create a strong sensation, and that during the hours of promenading, this deponent heard from persons surrounding him such exclamations as, "What is it! Is it a waistcoat? No, it's a shirt"—and the like—all of which ...
— The Letters of Charles Dickens - Vol. 1 (of 3), 1833-1856 • Charles Dickens

... thought it not unlikely that a raven, or a crow, or a jackdaw, or a magpie, had found his bell, and from its thievish disposition, which attracts it to anything bright and shining, had carried it into its nest. With this thought he turned himself into a beautiful little bird, and searched all the nests in the island, and he'd sang before all kinds ...
— Folk-Lore and Legends; Scandinavian • Various

... mid-spring he'll be as frisky as a colt, and that then he means to have what is his own! And that is as close as he ever comes to saying anything. About this one thing, I mean. He'll chatter like a magpie about anything else, even his own youthful evil deeds. He seems to know somehow that no longer has the law any interest in his old carcass, and begins to brag a bit of the wild days up and down the forks of the American ...
— The Everlasting Whisper • Jackson Gregory

... possible! I've heard A magpie dropped a knife that killed a man Who could not have been reached by human hands. And what a winged thief by chance could do Because his gleaming booty burdened him, A robber well ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. IX - Friedrich Hebbel and Otto Ludwig • Various

... in words or phrases, recalling his travels in Italy and Greece; and in the latter half of his life we follow him to the southern part of England, to Surrey and the Isle of Wight, where we find him in his "careless-ordered garden, close to the edge of a noble down," or "hear the magpie gossip garrulous under a roof of pine." But, to quote the lines that illustrate this autobiographic element in Tennyson's poetry, or that show his happy way of making use of his actual experiences, by which again ...
— Great Men and Famous Women, Vol. 7 of 8 • Charles F. (Charles Francis) Horne

... branch of a tree," called another, "and it rocks like a child's cradle. Come and build beside it," but the magpie said "No." ...
— The Book of Nature Myths • Florence Holbrook

... dulness of the other. Pope confessed his own pain by his anger; but he gave no pain to those who had provoked him. He was able to hurt none but himself; by transferring the same ridicule from one to another, he reduced himself to the insignificance of his own magpie, who from his cage calls cuckold ...
— Lives of the English Poets: Prior, Congreve, Blackmore, Pope • Samuel Johnson

... one for the defence!" said the Swallow, quite delighted, as were all the other creatures, at the Magpie's accomplishment; "you must save the prisoner from the jury finding ...
— Dot and the Kangaroo • Ethel C. Pedley

... at an easy pace, never troubling his head what became of the poor dog. When he arrived in the neighbourhood of the beautiful cat's mansion, he resolved to pay a visit to a friend of his, an old magpie that lived in a tree and was well acquainted with all the news of the place. "For," thought Reynard, "I may as well know the blind side of my mistress that is to be, and get ...
— The Pilgrims Of The Rhine • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... an open grassy canyon, we came upon quite a large bird, near the size of a pigeon, which I thought appeared to be a species of jay or magpie. This bird had gray and black colors, a round head, and a stout bill. At first I thought it was crippled, as it hopped and fluttered about in the grass. I got down to catch it. Then I discovered it was only tame. I could approach ...
— Tales of lonely trails • Zane Grey

... together, but Billy sat quite erect none the less, her eyes large and wakeful, her lips as if ready for an excited smile. She still felt all the grateful solemnity of that sadness, which was after all wonderfully beautiful. The mists on the meadow became transparent, the sky turned almost white, a magpie began to chatter in the thicket, and a crow flew through the glassy twilight, very black and heavy. A dream-world, and Billy felt that surrender which we have in dreams, for dreams give us all possible miracles even without our aid. Then came color, a string of rose-red cloudlets ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries - Masterpieces of German Literature Vol. 19 • Various

... days' moon was driving across the window; then stars, darkness, dawn and sunrise painted the open square; till rustling, and turning towards the light, she awoke. At the top of the window a magpie wiped his beak on a branch, bent head, and tail bent to balance him —then dropped like a mottled pebble out of sight. She sat up, drew the table prepared overnight towards her, lit the lamp for the chocolate —thinking of the dim Julien ...
— The Happy Foreigner • Enid Bagnold

... inaccessible canyons. The saucy jay abandons the settlements where he has been so familiar as to dispute with the dogs for their food, and sets up his homestead in a tall pine-tree on a slope which to look at is to grow dizzy; the magpie, boldest of birds, steals away to some secure retreat; the meadow-lark makes her nest in the monotonous mesa, where it is as well hidden as a bobolink's nest in a New ...
— A Bird-Lover in the West • Olive Thorne Miller

... magpie it is!" said Annie, impatiently. "But, of course, you have heard all about the turn father's affairs have taken since this bad rheumatic attack, which he does not believe he can shake off. It need not be any secret that my sisters are ...
— A Houseful of Girls • Sarah Tytler

... so aptly suit The two extremes of Bantam and of Brute, Compound grotesque of sullenness and show, The chattering magpie, and the croaking crow." ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. 6 (of 6) - With his Letters and Journals • Thomas Moore

... you have lately seen at Moreham Mains. But, be that as it may, the heart of the man and the fancy of the poet are the two grand considerations for which I live: if miry ridges and dirty dunghills are to engross the best part of the functions of my soul immortal, I had better been a rook or a magpie at once, and then I should not have been plagued with any ideas superior to breaking of clods and picking up grubs; not to mention barn-door cocks or mallards, creatures with which I could almost exchange lives at any time. If you continue so deaf, I am afraid a visit will be ...
— The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence. • Robert Burns and Allan Cunningham

... and lost their chance of turning into birds with safe, safe wings of their own. Now such sad things as this happen because in their youth the lazy father and mother birds did not learn their lesson when Mother Magpie had her class in nest-making. The clumsiest nest of all is that which the Wood-Pigeon tries to build. Indeed, it is not a nest at all, only the beginning of one. And there is an old story about this, which ...
— The Curious Book of Birds • Abbie Farwell Brown

... had already placed me the eldest by three years of a large family. Add to the eminence thus attained intentions which varied from hour to hour, a will so little in accordance with desire that I had rather give up a cherished plan than fight for it, and a secretive faculty equalled only by the magpie, and you will not wonder when I affirm that I lived alone in a household of a dozen friendly persons. As a set-off and consolation to myself I had very strongly the power of impersonation. I could be within my own little entity a dozen different people in a day, and live a life thronged with ...
— Lore of Proserpine • Maurice Hewlett

... along of thy prating," said the meditative lover, when the "strain" was concluded. "It bodes no good; and I'd as lief see a magpie, and hear a screech-owl, as one of those silly beasts. The salutation of an ass by night is ever held a sound of ill-omen; and lo! there be two of ye, reckoning thine ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 2 (of 2) • John Roby

... Lorcy, her sympathy and her kindly services, and she had bestowed her most amiable attentions upon her. Mme. de Lorcy had done her best to respond to her advances; but she found herself revolted by this old magpie whose prattling never ceased, and whose chief delight was in the recital of the secret chronicles of every capital of Europe; Mme. de Lorcy, in fact, soon grew disgusted with her cosmopolitan gossip ...
— Samuel Brohl & Company • Victor Cherbuliez

... workshop to bring her daughter. A big chambermaid had obtained the morning's leave from the bourgeois house where she worked. Her daughter stood beside her, a beautiful child of sixteen with colourless hair, impudent as a magpie. A music teacher with well-worn boots had excused herself from her pupils. Her two daughters flanked her to right and left, Parisian blossoms, pale and anaemic. Both wished to pass the entrance examinations, the ...
— The Idol of Paris • Sarah Bernhardt

... ago you were a magpie; now you are becoming a tortoise! Come and give some water to ...
— The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard • Anatole France

... search for him about the island, which is three leagues distant from the main land. Farther west are other islands; among them one six leagues in length, called by the savages Manthane,[83] south of which there are among the islands several good harbors for vessels. From the Magpie Islands we proceeded to a river on the main land called the river of the Etechemins,[84] a tribe of savages so called in their country. We passed by so many islands that we could not ascertain their number, which ...
— Voyages of Samuel de Champlain, Vol. 2 • Samuel de Champlain

... Steward, How are you, my old boy? How do things go on at home? Steward. Bad enough, your honor; the magpie's dead. Mr. H. Poor mag! so he's gone. How came he to die? Stew. Over-ate himself sir. Mr. H. Did he, faith? a greedy dog; why, what did he get he liked so well? Stew. Horse-flesh, sir; he died of eating horse-flesh. Mr. H. How came he to get so much horse-flesh? ...
— The American Union Speaker • John D. Philbrick

... while breeding, fierce and pugnacious, driving such birds as approach its nest with great fury to a distance. The Welsh call it "pen y llwyn," the head or master of the coppice. He suffers no magpie, jay, or blackbird, to enter the garden where he haunts, and is, for the time, a good guard to the new-sown legumens. In general he is very successful in the defence of his family; but once I observed in my garden that several magpies came determined to storm the nest of a missel- ...
— The Natural History of Selborne, Vol. 2 • Gilbert White

... everybody! Pawson might have been stone deaf and entirely blind for all the information you could twist out of him—and a lot of people tried. And as to Gadgem—the dumbest oyster in Cherrystone Creek was a veritable magpie when it came to his giving the precise reason why the Temple Mansion was being restored from top to bottom and why all its old furniture, fittings, and trappings—(brand-new ones when they couldn't be found in the pawn shops or elsewhere)—were being ...
— Kennedy Square • F. Hopkinson Smith

... know nobody, and have no friends, and that I shall have so few presents. You won't give me many jewels, will you?" she said suddenly, insistently, turning to him. "I shouldn't know what to do with them. I used to have a magpie's wish for them; and now—I don't know, but they don't give me pleasure. Not these, of course—not these!" she added hurriedly, taking them up and beginning to fasten ...
— Marcella • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... I lit a cigar and made myself comfortable on my rugs in the shade. Presently I had some visitors in a flock of urracas, or magpies, as they are called in the vernacular, or Guira cuckoos; a graceful, loquacious bird resembling a magpie, only with a longer tail and a bold, red beak. These ill-mannered birds skulked about in the branches over me all the time I remained in the wood, scolding me so incessantly in their intolerably loud, angry, rattling notes, varied occasionally with shrill ...
— The Purple Land • W. H. Hudson

... through the day. There are no elopements now in chaises and four, like Miss Wardle's, with headlong pursuit in other chaises and four; nor are special licenses issued at a moment's notice to help clandestine marriages. There is now no frequenting of taverns and "free and easies" by gentlemen, at the "Magpie and Stump" and such places, nor do persons of means take up their residence at houses like the "George and Vulture" in the City. No galleried inns (though one still lingers on in Holborn), are there, at which travellers put up: there were then nearly a dozen, in the Borough and elsewhere. ...
— Pickwickian Manners and Customs • Percy Fitzgerald

... order to salute a magpie—for he was very superstitious—pointed with his cane to a tank that lay buried on its back in the sand like a defeated tortoise, and ...
— General Bramble • Andre Maurois

... magpie, denotes much dissatisfaction and quarrels. The dreamer should guard well his conduct and speech after ...
— 10,000 Dreams Interpreted • Gustavus Hindman Miller

... are sometimes seen on the plains of Colorado, but are not common), the Rockies boast of Brewer's blackbird, whose habits are not as prosaic as his name would indicate. "Jim Crow" shuns the mountains for reasons satisfactory to himself; not so the magpie, the raven, and that mischief-maker, Clark's nutcracker. All of which keeps the bird-lover from the East in an ecstasy of surprises until he has become ...
— Birds of the Rockies • Leander Sylvester Keyser

... You listen, but all seems still. You can hear the twittering of birds, perhaps the harsh call of a jay, or the laughing chatter of a magpie, but those familiar sounds would not have startled the rabbits; and if you are new to such woodland matters, you will conclude that some one of the nearest fur-coated fellows must have caught sight of you, called out danger, and sent ...
— Diamond Dyke - The Lone Farm on the Veldt - Story of South African Adventure • George Manville Fenn

... in the clear beauty of the day and in the freedom with which they flew through space. Myrtle had chosen to sit in the back seat, and lolled happily among rugs and wraps, keeping a keen eye out on the road ahead and chattering away like a magpie to Leslie, telling her what a darling she was—she pronounced it "dolling"—and how this ride was just the one thing she needed to recuperate from her violent study of the night before, incident to an examination that morning. Myrtle professed to be utterly overcome and exhausted by the physical ...
— Cloudy Jewel • Grace Livingston Hill

... most of the night by a bird in a tree near the window which kept saying, "Whip-poor-will" over and over again at intervals. I understand that's its name, and it is hated by the ranchers. No, it is not the bright little black and white bird like a small magpie which pecks around, ...
— Round the Wonderful World • G. E. Mitton

... scarcely four by the village clock, The dew is heavy, the air is cool— A mist goes up from the glassy pool, Through the dim field ranges a phantom flock: No sound is heard but the magpie's mock. ...
— A Celtic Psaltery • Alfred Perceval Graves

... alterna Camaenae—relate in turn anecdotes of Johnson's way of life, his witty sayings, &c., &c. Sir John Hawkins, as judge of the contest, gives neither a prize; tells the lady, "Sam's Life, dear ma'am, will only damn your own;" calls the gentleman "a chattering magpie;" and— ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole - Volume II • Horace Walpole

... Garbetts, Principal Tragedian, a promising and athletic young actor, of jovial habits and irregular inclinations, between whom and Mr. Costigan there was a considerable intimacy. They were the chief ornaments of the convivial club held at the Magpie Hotel; they helped each other in various bill transactions in which they had been engaged, with the mutual loan of each other's valuable signatures. They were friends, in fine: although Mr. Garbetts seldom called at Costigan's house, being disliked by Miss Fotheringay, ...
— The History of Pendennis • William Makepeace Thackeray

... longer, he might have been worth a deal of money—you brimstone chatterer!—but just as he was beginning to build up the house that he had been making the foundations for, through many a year—you jade of a magpie, jackdaw, and poll-parrot, what do you mean!—he took ill and died of a low fever, always being a sparing and a spare man, full of business care—I should like to throw a cat at you instead of a cushion, and I will too if you make such a confounded fool of yourself!—and your mother, who was ...
— Bleak House • Charles Dickens

... his own well-founded contentment and well-merited repose. Xenophon, the best of them, offered up sacrifices, believed in oracles, consulted soothsayers, turned pale at a jay, and was dysenteric at a magpie. ...
— Imaginary Conversations and Poems - A Selection • Walter Savage Landor

... day and the hour when she stole my watch. And the purse? There can be no doubt about it. Oh!" she laughed as she took the coffee from me. "Now I understand why I am always losing my handkerchiefs and gloves. Whatever you say, I shall dismiss the magpie to-morrow and send Stepan for my Sofya. She is not a thief and has not got such a ...
— The Lady with the Dog and Other Stories • Anton Chekhov

... further peril confronting them. Charley Moi seemed to fill the bill as a guide, very well. He also knew the different points of interest, and chattered away like a magpie or a monkey ...
— The Saddle Boys in the Grand Canyon - or The Hermit of the Cave • James Carson



Words linked to "Magpie" :   American magpie, chatterbox, corvine bird, genus Pica, verbalizer, hoarder, utterer, pack rat, European magpie, prater, scavenger, babbler, chatterer



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