One for sorrow…
“The first magpie stopped to mourn. A god’s death — even a wicked god like Loki — was no small thing, and a bird’s heart — the smallest of things — couldn’t hope to contain it.”
Two for joy…
“The second magpie left after days at sea. The magpie knew oceans are endless and…
I was actually just TODAY thinking about this rhyme and the variations of thereof. The one quoted is perhaps the best-known one; the text of the actual issue, though, masterfully combines two versions. The other goes:
One for sorrow
Two for mirth
Three for a funeral
Four for a birth
Five for Heaven
Six for Hell
Seven’s the Devil his own self
I’ve been thinking about the rhyme in relation to Ikol. What is he, exactly? He’s not the seventh magpie, is he? Because that one exploded. Out of curiosity, I went through some of my books and notes, trying to find the full text of the rhyme. Contacted some more savvy British friends. What I’ve learnt is that, in one version, seven is also for a journey.
But what about eight? Well. The eighth magpie means “a wish” or ”you live”, and - in one obscure version I have no idea where my friend found - “grief”. That’s… reassuring.