Walking the Bird: 1915


Miss Society Girl Adopts a Real Live Bird for a Walking Companion

Tweet! Tweet!

Oh, no, you’re not out in the forest wilds listening to the birdies chirp; you’re right here in the heart of the city.

But the tweet, tweet and the chirp, chirp are real. There sure is a live birdie on the job tweet-tweeting to beat the band. Little birdie is in a cage, where all well trained birdies are when they are not flitting from branch to branch in the woods.

But this birdie in his cage is dangling from the dainty hand of a pretty girl strolling down the avenue. ‘Tis the very latest thing to do! Society’s up-to-the-second fad.

Toy bow-wows and fierce looking barkers may stay in their kennels; milady will have no more to do with you. Dogs and cats and monkeys and other pets have followed Mary’s little lamb into the discard.

It’s a bird!

Swell Newport society started this fad—carrying a live bird, in a dainty little “walking cage,” and it is already spreading over the country. 

The Day Book [Chicago, IL] 21 August 1915: p. 13

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: Apparently the early bird gets the walk. Mrs Daffodil must sit on her hands to avoid “giving the birdm” as the vulgar expression goes, to these up-to-the-second ornitholo-gettes. One pities the unfortunate, vertiginous fowl being swung too and fro by that dainty hand. When this fad’s second is up–straight into the rubbish with the lambs and bow-wows!

And what will be the next breathlessly reported craze in pet promenades? The Vole Stroll, The Fox Trot, or The Pike Hike? Mrs Daffodil is inclined to think that The Social Butterfly Flit might have wings.


4 thoughts on “Walking the Bird: 1915

  1. cheyenek

    How cute! (If not a little unpleasant for the bird itself!)
    During the first few years of my ownership of a little green-cheeked conure parrot, I would often take him walking with me. Only, he was NOT in a cage, and if he hadn’t had his wings trimmed, he could have flown off whenever he pleased!
    That didn’t last long, though, before I realized the risks I was taking with my little birdie!


    1. chriswoodyard Post author

      While Mrs Daffodil is certain that your adorable parrot enjoyed his outings with you, the little creatures simply do not realize the advantages of home life. The first chance they get; as soon as their feathers (clipped for their own good, mind) grow back, they’re off like a shot! The next thing one knows, there are flocks of rogue parrots ravaging Twickenham and Kingston. It is indeed risky to take a walk with an uncaged bird. Cook found this out to her sorrow as she took her budgerigar, Malcolm, out for a stroll on her half-day. Lord Bracken, owner of the adjoining estate, was keen on falcolnry and his prize peregrine mistook Malcolm for a lure. Lord Bracken paid compensation for Cook’s injuries and her shredded clothing, but she has never gotten over her loss. One hopes your parrot is still happily enjoying his cuttlebone and seed in the safety of his cage.


      1. cheyenek

        Ah, yes, I did realize the risks of what I was doing, and I don’t take my bother parrots out unless they are properly restrained. Unfortunely, my first little parrot is no longer with me. 😦 He passed away a year ago, for unknown reasons. It is very sad to have a pet pass away (And to get your clothes shredded along with it would be simply awful! 🙂 )


  2. chriswoodyard Post author

    Mrs Daffodil’s condolences on losing your charming little pet. One likes to think of them soaring on untiring wings among the clouds of Heaven. The staff clubbed together and purchased a hedgehog for Cook, which they hoped would console her. It was doubtless a kindly thought and very handy to keep down the blackbeetles, but scarcely a replacement for the late-lamented Malcolm.



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