We hear a great deal these days about keeping fit mentally and physically in order to maintain one’s optimum health, so I would like to suggest to the millions of persons who are confined in rest homes, convalescent hospitals, or just at home, a simple and inexpensive way to relieve emotional and physical stress--and a method of bringing joy and happiness to everyone.
Select a bird cage (not small) and place therein a male canary (or finch, parrakeet) who will sing and delight everyone. Then, after a week or so, introduce a female bird along with a next box, and put some nesting material (string, cloth, etc.) on the floor of the cage.
Then you can watch the two strangers go through their rituals of acquaintance and adjusting to one another, rites of passage as it were. Soon, they will start to gather the nesting material and to formulate the nest, and not too long thereafter the eggs will be laid, one each day for several days.
And then there will be the long incubation period with the male standing guard nearby while his mate incubates the eggs, carefully turning them several times a day.
Soon there will arrive the hatching period, and then the feeding processes as the scarggly bits of protoplasm blossom into beautiful birds to fill everyone’s heart with joy and happiness and song.
And during all of this time the onlookers will be fascinated and enthralled, and they will be so busy watching this beautiful drama and display unfolding before their very eyes, that their cares and worries and sorrows will vanish like the morning fog hovering over the city as the rising sun heralds a new day for everyone.
WALTER L. AXELROD MD