One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl and four for a boy.
Five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told.
I am sure many of you, like me, learned this children's nursery rhyme about magpies. According to an old superstition, the number of magpies seen predicts whether you will have good or bad luck. Something I came across subsequently, was the existence of many variations on this rhyme, some more sinister than the children’s version.
One of those is incorporated into this short story about boyhood abuse.
WARNING: Sensitive content. Although not described in any graphic detail, a section in this short story alludes to the abuse of a minor.