Story: The Magpie and The Milk

Magpie and the Milk story
Magpie and the Milk story

This is my retelling of a Turkish folk tale (from my Spring Kindergarten curriculum).  Enjoy!

Once upon a time there was an old lady who wanted some cream for her morning coffee. She went out to milk her cow and filled the pail with fine fresh milk. Then she went inside to get a spoon to skim off the cream. A magpie was watching from a nearby fencepost and he thought he would like to have a sip of that milk. So he flew down and as he dipped his bill in the milk, he knocked over the pail – oh, no! The magpie hungrily lapped up milk from the puddle that was soaking into the ground.

The old lady came back outside with her spoon, and boy was she mad to see that magpie drinking up the spilled milk! She grabbed him by the tail and as the magpie tried so hard to fly away, that tail popped right off into her hands! “Give me back my tail!” squawked the magpie. “Well, I will,” said the old lady, “Just as soon as you give me back my milk!”

So the magpie went to the cow, “Please dear cow, please please please may I have a pail full of milk so the old lady will give me back my tail?” “Sure,” said the cow, “Mooo...just as soon as you give me some fresh green grass to eat.”

The magpie thought for a minute, and then he hopped over to the field. “Please dear field, please please please may I have some fresh green grass for the cow so the cow will give me some milk for the old lady so the old lady will give me back my tail?” “Sure,” said the field, “Just as soon as you give me a drink of cool water.”

The magpie thought for a minute, then he hopped over to the well where a boy was drawing water in buckets. “Please dear boy, please please please may I have some cool water to give to the field so the field will give me some fresh green grass for the cow so the cow will give me some milk for the old lady so the old lady will give me back my tail?” “Sure,” said the boy at the well, “Just as soon as you bring me a fine fresh egg for my lunch.”

The magpie thought for a minute, then he hopped over to the hen house where all the hens were scratching about in the yard, looking for bugs and good things to eat. The magpie spied a friendly looking plump hen. “Please dear hen, please please please may I have a fine fresh egg for the boy at the well so he will give me some cool water to give to the field so the field will give me some fresh green grass for the cow so the cow will give me some milk for the old lady so the old lady will give me back my tail?” The good-natured hen clucked and chuckled at this and then she said, “Magpie, since you are a bird and I am a bird, and I can see that you do need your tail, Cluck cluck cluck, I will lay an egg for you.” So the hen sat herself down with a look of concentration and a minute later she got up and went off to search for more good things to eat. There were she had sat lay a fine fresh egg!

The magpie carefully took the egg to the boy at the well. The boy said “Thank you,” and took a bucket of cool water to splash over the field. The field said “Thank you,” and offered up some fresh green grass. The magpie took the fresh green grass over to the cow who munched it all up. The cow said “Thank you, and now you can milk me into that pail.” The magpie milked the cow and then squawked for the old lady to come take a look. The old lady said “Thank you, and now you may have your tail back!” She popped the tail right back onto the magpie, and he flew off in a hurry! The old lady skimmed off the cream and finally settled down for a nice cup of coffee.

 The End