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One for Sorrow (Feathers of Tales III) - artwork by PannaDraws

One for Sorrow (Feathers of Tales III)


Ink and watercolour on acrylic paper. 405 x 508 mm (20 x 16 in), 2020.

"One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy,
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
Seven for a secret,
Never to be told.
Eight for a wish,
Nine for a kiss,
Ten for a bird,
You must not miss
Eleven is worse
Twelve for a dastardly curse."

The mischievous magpie. You can hear his unmistakable chatter everywhere, and you may wonder how many you'll come across this time? As this nursery rhyme goes, you might get lucky, but what if there's only one? Quickly, ask him how his wife is! Then you might have a chance to avoid misfortune.

I chose the magpie for this painting because there's scarcely any bird with more superstition around it than this black and white fellow. Although magpies have a pretty negative reputation overall, they are quite intelligent and good looking. You can try get rid of them, but they still figure out a way to get what they want, and then their distinctive chatter sounds like laughter. A common bird in every garden, still a real icon. You might be superstitious or not, but you surely know the magpie.

This painting is the 3rd in Feathers of Tales, my series on birds of Irish folklore. Previous artworks in the series are "Old Nog" and "The King's Friend", both available in my shop.

Original is available from Hambly & Hambly Art Gallery
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Artwork and content © 2021 Panna Zsamba

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