Magic Trick: The Bird and Card

A very pretty stage trick this. The performer must procure what is known as a bird box, which is a pretty polished box, having a secret metal flap inside, the latter, when turned down, forming a retreat for a small bird, such as a canary. It is held down by a small catch, released by pressing the key into the lock from the outside, the double action being performed of setting free the bird and concealing the card. It is useless having such a box constructed, as it can be much more satisfactorily procured of the proper vendors. Two small cages are also necessary. They may be round or square, but, in either case, should be all wire, like a rat trap. This is merely to give them an innocent appearance. One of these cages is concealed on the shelf, behind the table. The performer borrows a hat, either for this or a preceding trick (preferably the latter), and gets the empty cage into it. This is best done by placing the hat upon the table, the opening towards the rear, and leaving it there for a time. Then, when carelessly shifting its position, the article required to be got into it may be inserted with less suspicion. In the second cage is a bird, precisely similar to the one concealed in the bird box. Place this cage upon the table, and cover with a double cloth, having inside a card-board shape. A card is forced on one of the company, and placed in the bird box, in a little slit which will be found there, just over the hinge of the secret flap. The inside of the box may be carefully exhibited at a slight distance, the blackened interior preventing anyone from noticing the presence of the turned down flap. Whilst affecting to lock it, the key is pressed hard in and the flap released. In flying back this covers the card. The performer commences by extracting the card. This he can do by having a duplicate concealed in a card-box (see page 127), and causing it to appear in that; but it will look more artistic to have one palmed and affect to extract it from the box. This done, the cloth is raised by the shape, the cage being left upon the shelf. The cloth is then shaken out and laid flat upon the floor. The box is then opened and the bird allowed to fly out, if tame, or taken out in the hand, previously shown empty, if wild. The performer will derive a great advantage from having a tame canary, which returns to his shoulder. Finally, the hat is brought forward and found to contain the missing cage.

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