The call of a wood bird, written by Holly Lee

Going through the December 1954 issue of The National Geographic Magazine, I was awfully delighted to find this small ad. amongst one of the classified advertisement pages. It suddenly glued together some years: 1954, 1985 and 2020. In 1954, I was merely one year old and barely recalled nor recognized any sounds of birds. In the mid-eighties, when my daughter was two years old, I bought her this bird call from a toy store in New York, this little red bird with a key chain did not arouse her interest and ultimately becomes my toy, a toy at times we use to tease the cat, who would look with great suspicion and survey the places around him, trying to locate where her prey actually hides. Now as we are forced to stay more indoor, sometimes we couldn’t help but give the tiny wood bird a few forceful twists, making it sing some simple songs just to satisfy our outdoor crave.

The below text is quoted from the bird call gadget ad. published in the 1954 National Geographic Magazine:


"IF YOU LIKE BIRDS and haven’t tried the Audubon Bird Call, you’re missing hours of outdoor fun. Here’s a simple, easily-operated device that duplicates bird songs and actually attracts wild birds. For yourself…your children…as a novelty Christmas gift or stocking toy…for friends who like outdoor walks - select an Audubon Bird Call! It has the approval of the Audubon Society. Instructions included. At leading gift, book, sports, pet shops, and other quality stores. Or send $1.50 to Roger Eddy - Newington 3, Conn."


After almost seventy years, you can still find this thumb-size, birch and metal object, which does not look like a bird but sound like one, at a price of less than ten dollars.

(Le Système des objets is a new column about OBJECTS, with contributions by various authors. The column name is borrowed from the title of a book by Jean Baudrillard.

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