This is for Karen in Nova Scotia, if she’s reading. She told me that she’d never seen a magpie. They are as common as sparrows here – big, fat and sassy. And smart. They know how to drive cats crazy by luring them close and then flying away at the last minute. These pictures are of a neighbour’s cat and our clothes line a couple of years ago. She and the magpie went through this at least twice before the bird got bored and flew away. Poor Ellie May.