This is a little ditty that intrigued my english Dad as a kid. His grandfather used to entertain him with it, and he adopted it to entertain me and my sisters as well. He even claimed that he could use it to entertain his grade 8 math students for the last five minutes on a Friday afternoon.
I remember being completely stumped by this riddle/rhyme - How DID he make the dickie bird disappear? This instructable will teach you this adorable rhyme as well as the 'trick' to it.
The rhyme goes like this:
Two little dickie birds, sitting on a wall,
One named Peter, one named Paul.
Fly away Peter, fly away Paul.
Come back Peter, come back Paul.
Step 1: All You Need
In this demonstration, the materials used were a fine black marker to outline the bird face, and two colours of finger nail polish to decorate.
Step 2: Creating Peter and Paul
Peter and Paul are drawn on the index finger nails of both hands. Here, I've drawn the beak and eyes on with a fine marker and then filled them in with the brightly coloured nail polish.
The beauty of this finger puppet rhyme is that you could keep it really simple and allow the young observer the opportunity to use their imagination to bring the dickie birds to life. My great-grandfather performed the rhyme by sticking a small piece of tissue paper on each index finger with a bit of moisture (spit).
Step 3: The 'trick'
At the start of the rhyme you introduce the "characters" by tapping your index fingers on the table. (The term "dickie bird" is an English child or baby speak for "birdie'.)
On the cue "fly away" you rapidly lift your index finger and switch it with your third finger. Return the third finger to the table in place of the 'dickie bird' index finger.
Similarly on the cue "come back" the process is reversed, exchanging the third finger with the index finger.
If done with great panache, raising your hand to behind your ear, the effect can be made more mesmerizing to small (or not so small) children.