Magic Trick: The Flying Cage

The performer comes forward with a square cage in his hand, containing a live bird. Standing close in front of the audience, he suddenly makes a movement as of throwing the cage upwards, when that article disappears, bird and all. The secret lies in the fact that, whilst the framework of the cage is actually of wood or metal, and the wires of real wire, the whole is jointed together at the corners with elastic, and the wires looped or hinged where affixed to the framework, so that the whole may be shut up, cornerwise, longitudinally, and made to disappear up the coat sleeve. The sleeve must be pretty large for this purpose, and the shirt cuff must offer no obstruction; in fact, a cuffless shirt should be worn. At one corner of the cage is affixed a strong black cord, which passes up the sleeve, round the back, and down the other sleeve, where it is tied to the wrist. The length must be such that the performer is just able to hold the cage, and have the cord tight. The bird is inserted through the wires. When the performer desires to cause the cage to disappear, he shuts up the cage obliquely, and, by simultaneously stretching out his arms, it is made to fly up his sleeve. So instantaneously is this accomplished, that even those acquainted with the means by which the disappearance is arrived at cannot actually see the cage go, although the performer faces the company during the entire execution of the trick. It is advisable to purchase a cage ready made, in preference to constructing it oneself. A black frame is preferable to a brightly-burnished brass one.

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