Migrations

by Professor Spellbinder

 

Effect:

Augury is the art/science of making predictions or prognostications based on the flight patterns of birds, and in ancient days, that also included examining the entrails (intestines) of dead birds. Unless you go in for the macabre magik or dark arts, we'll leave the entrail possibilities for another day. Migrations is more light-hearted or, dare I say, bird brained?

The effect, as I perform it today, goes as follows: After I describe the origins of augury and offer to give a demonstration based on the migrations of birds, I point out that it is a bit difficult to demonstrate indoors since birds rarely migrate from room to room but prefer going from continent to continent. However, by confining the bird to a cage and forcing the poor little thing to drag the cage with him on his migrations, I can slow him down enough so that we can all observe it in close quarters.

My apprentice then rolls out a small pedestal table upon which rests a small wire cage containing a live canary. I pick up the cage and vanish it. At the moment of the vanish, my apprentice calls attention to a huge pile that has been in the background all along, covered by a large ornate tablecloth. He whips away the tablecloth and reveals a towering bunch of cages of different styles and colors, stacked up at odd angles.

I put on my glasses and peer into the cages to see into which cage the canary has migrated. I ask the children in the audience to help point out the canary if they see him. Suddenly, a canary flashes into view in one of the cages. I pretend not to notice and let the children in the audience point him out, which they usually do, screaming at the top of their little lungs, bless them! However, as soon as I go over to that cage, the canary immediately vanishes and reappears in a cage on the opposite side of the heap, causing even more commotion and screaming among the children. This happens again and again.

When we have finished playing with the audience in this way, suddenly two canaries appear. They both disappear and migrate to different cages. Then there are three canaries, and finally all the cages fill up with canaries, who are chirping almost as loudly as the children are screaming. I end it all with a wave of my wand and a puff of smoke just for effect.

All the canaries immediately vanish and I bring forward the pedestal table where the original cage and canary have suddenly reappeared. I reach into the canary's cage and remove a tiny scroll which the canary apparently has brought me and read the prediction: "It will rain in Bermuda next Tuesday. Oh, by the way, Calvin Jones is 10 years old today. The winning lottery number is 1437 in Lower Patagonia's Instant Win lottery. Maria Rivera lost her tooth last night..." et cetera.

It is a very long tiny scroll and is mixed with ridiculous predictions along with personalized information about the current members of the audience.

Migrations $5.00

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