I believe I do have a timeline of events that you might find illuminating.
Russ, Alex and Toby are walking their dog, Oswald, when they see a group of magpies. Toby counts through the One for Sorrow rhyme, but she only knows it up to four.
Alex recites a version of the rhyme that goes well beyond the traditional seven, culminating in the revolution of the magpies and the beginning of the thousand-year age of magpies.
With mock shame, Russ reveals to Toby that Alex used to be in a sketch group.