The Magpie's Nest | English Fairy Tales



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Text Scripts

THE MAGPIE’S NEST

  Once upon a time when pigs spoke rhyme
  And monkeys chewed tobacco,
  And hens took snuff to make them tough,
  And ducks went quack, quack, quack, O!

All the birds of the air came to the magpie and asked her to teach them how to build nests. For the magpie is the cleverest bird of all at building nests. So she put all the birds round her and began to show them how to do it. First of all she took some mud and made a sort of round cake with it.

“Oh, that’s how it’s done,” said the thrush; and away it flew, and so that’s how thrushes build their nests.

Then the magpie took some twigs and arranged them round in the mud.

“Now I know all about it,” says the blackbird, and off he flew; and that’s how the blackbirds make their nests to this very day.

Then the magpie put another layer of mud over the twigs.

“Oh that’s quite obvious,” said the wise owl, and away it flew; and owls have never made better nests since.

After this the magpie took some twigs and twined them round the outside.

“The very thing!” said the sparrow, and off he went; so sparrows make rather slovenly nests to this day.

Well, then Madge Magpie took some feathers and stuff and lined the nest very comfortably with it.

“That suits me,” cried the starling, and off it flew; and very comfortable nests have starlings.

So it went on, every bird taking away some knowledge of how to build nests, but, none of them waiting to the end. Meanwhile Madge Magpie went on working and working without, looking up till the only bird that remained was the turtle-dove, and that hadn’t paid any attention all along, but only kept on saying its silly cry “Take two, Taffy, take two-o-o-o.”

At last the magpie heard this just as she was putting a twig across. So she said: “One’s enough.”

But the turtle-dove kept on saying: “Take two, Taffy, take two-o-o-o.”

Then the magpie got angry and said: “One’s enough I tell you.”

Still the turtle-dove cried: “Take two, Taffy, take two-o-o-o.”

At last, and at last, the magpie looked up and saw nobody near her but the silly turtle-dove, and then she got rare angry and flew away and refused to tell the birds how to build nests again. And that is why different birds build their nests differently.




3 thoughts on “The Magpie's Nest | English Fairy Tales

  1. EnOn - English Online says:

    English Fairy Tales Collected by Joseph Jacobs:
    1. Tom Tit Tot: https://youtu.be/POBjGO11yuU
    2. The Three Sillies: https://youtu.be/Yuw9T1vYl7s
    3. The Rose-Tree: https://youtu.be/IUzn33dDSl0
    4. The Old Woman and her Pig: https://youtu.be/xDTRPYJRvQ8
    5. How Jack went to Seek his Fortune: https://youtu.be/7chwbVPWIIQ
    6. Mr. Vinegar: https://youtu.be/jR71TcIG-V4
    7. Nix Nought Nothing: https://youtu.be/T6ZtZ8sIYkA
    8. Jack Hannaford: https://youtu.be/B-pQWM3S6aQ
    9. Binnorie: https://youtu.be/yBx39VUszrI
    10. Mouse and Mouser: https://youtu.be/5yIm3HRe0Lg
    11. Cap o' Rushes: https://youtu.be/TIYvlkxkBMM
    12. Teeny-Tiny: https://youtu.be/eqY45MSugjM
    13. Jack and the Beanstalk: https://youtu.be/tyPPxlAIrqo
    14. The Story of the Three Little Pigs: https://youtu.be/wOmaR7-Xv5c
    15. The Master and his Pupil: https://youtu.be/YzMJmIW2aZM
    16. Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse: https://youtu.be/FrMQP09pJWI
    17. Jack and his Golden Snuff-Box: https://youtu.be/12RDvR-6Xwc
    18. The Story of the Three Bears: https://youtu.be/ySqSe6Xd3Us
    19. Jack the Giant-Killer: https://youtu.be/vNF9BFWxjpg
    20. Henny-Penny: https://youtu.be/v2C7GPqwv0A
    21. Childe Rowland: https://youtu.be/xEAEKIEtYFA
    22. Molly Whuppie: https://youtu.be/Orhluo_SWxU
    23. The Red Ettin: https://youtu.be/xY51ht9xmqY
    24. The Golden Arm: https://youtu.be/fldX1–ReKc
    25. The History of Tom Thumb: https://youtu.be/TTLcaLOjJaQ
    26. Mr. Fox: https://youtu.be/_K0Up3Fhzq4
    27. Lazy Jack: https://youtu.be/FxAml9e_B2I
    28. Johnny-Cake: https://youtu.be/Vgj3H5J7AW4
    29. Earl Mar's Daughter: https://youtu.be/REWnd7X_9X8
    30. Mr. Miacca: https://youtu.be/WKsLqMMnDwg
    31. Whittington and his Cat: https://youtu.be/HLrbXFTjxBo
    32. The Strange Visitor: https://youtu.be/sqrA84vECZo
    33. The Laidly Worm of Spindleston Heugh: https://youtu.be/zzI3pf_PnXk
    34. The Cat and the Mouse: https://youtu.be/N7ltZOKxBiQ
    35. The Fish and the Ring: https://youtu.be/CqgEUQ90ysY
    36. The Magpie's Nest: https://youtu.be/dxi4LenfsIA
    37. Kate Crackernuts: https://youtu.be/t9XmOGGJ9Zc
    38. The Cauld Lad of Hilton: https://youtu.be/RyBrWhn6_qw
    39. The Ass, the Table, and the Stick: https://youtu.be/zpGC4FU8a5Y
    40. Fairy Ointment: https://youtu.be/9ujkAkI18MY
    41. The Well of the World's End: https://youtu.be/dHEXqy563Eo
    42. Master of all Masters: https://youtu.be/pLDpL6JR150
    43. The Three Heads of the Well: https://youtu.be/gvQNy4FW8Yw

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