My Family and Other Animals

My Family and Other Animals

The Magenpies Character Analysis

The Magenpies are a pair of magpie birds that Gerry takes from a nest when they're babies. They're curious and social birds, and are also exceptionally smart—they know what rooms of the house they can enter, which they can't, and which are most interesting. Larry insists that the Magenpies be locked up after they tear his room apart.

The Magenpies Quotes in My Family and Other Animals

The My Family and Other Animals quotes below are all either spoken by The Magenpies or refer to The Magenpies. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Natural World Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of My Family and Other Animals published in 1956.
Part 3, Chapter 15 Quotes

The Magenpies, obviously suspecting Larry of being a dope smuggler, had fought valiantly with the tin of bicarbonate of soda, and had scattered its contents along a line of books, so that they looked like a snow-covered mountain range.

Related Characters: Gerry Durrell (speaker), Larry Durrell, The Magenpies
Page Number: 211
Explanation and Analysis:
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Part 3, Chapter 18 Quotes

"I assure you the house is a death-trap. Every conceivable nook and cranny is stuffed with malignant faunae waiting to pounce...A simple, innocuous action like lighting a cigarette is fraught with danger. Even the sanctity of my bedroom is not respected. First, I was attacked by a scorpion...Now we have snakes in the bath and huge flocks of albatrosses flapping around the house, making noises like defective plumbing."

Page Number: 260
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Magenpies Character Timeline in My Family and Other Animals

The timeline below shows where the character The Magenpies appears in My Family and Other Animals. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 3, Chapter 15: The Cyclamen Woods
The Natural World Theme Icon
Friendship and the Care of Animals Theme Icon
...magpies. He says the word "magenpies," and with that, the magpies become known as the Magenpies. (full context)
The Natural World Theme Icon
Friendship and the Care of Animals Theme Icon
Larry seems to forget about the Magenpies' criminal instincts as the birds grow. They have the run of the villa and know... (full context)
The Natural World Theme Icon
One afternoon, when Larry unthinkingly leaves his window open and goes for a swim, the Magenpies silently raid his room. Larry notices one on his windowsill when he returns and he... (full context)
The Natural World Theme Icon
...that his family will side with the animals over him any day. Gerry locks the Magenpies in his room and decides to ask Kralefsky to help him build a large cage.... (full context)
Childhood, Adulthood, and Education Theme Icon
Friendship and the Care of Animals Theme Icon
...at some point in the future. The day he comes to help Gerry with the Magenpies' cage, Gerry reminds Kralefsky of his promise. Kralefsky is very displeased, but finally agrees to... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 16: The Lake of Lilies
The Natural World Theme Icon
Childhood, Adulthood, and Education Theme Icon
Friendship and the Care of Animals Theme Icon
After the Magenpies are confined, they take it upon themselves to learn English and Greek. They learn to... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 17: The Chessboard Fields
Friendship and the Care of Animals Theme Icon
...everyone finally calms down, Gerry tethers Alecko on the veranda and sets about dividing the Magenpies' cage. (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 18: An Entertainment with Animals
The Natural World Theme Icon
Childhood, Adulthood, and Education Theme Icon
Friendship and the Care of Animals Theme Icon
...snakes will eat goldfish on occasion. He moves the reptiles into cans and cleans the Magenpies' and Alecko's cage while he tries to come up with a solution before guests arrive. (full context)
The Natural World Theme Icon
Friendship and the Care of Animals Theme Icon
When Gerry goes to look at the lunch table, he discovers the Magenpies escaped. The table is covered in butter, and the Magenpies also got into a bottle... (full context)
Absurdity and Storytelling Theme Icon
Gerry puts the Magenpies in their cage and finds that Alecko took the opportunity to escape. Gerry searches for... (full context)