He was almost asleep when I asked him, “Did you have this toy when you were a child?” “Yes I had it” he muttered inaudibly with a tinge of frustration that I was making a conversation then. Ignoring the sleepy tone I continued. “It’s a glass bird which moved up and down…”
“Oh with a red liquid inside and drank water ?” He questioned now alert.
“Yes that’s what I am talking about.” “Well every household had it then.” He said as a matter of fact. “I don’t remember if many of my friends had it but yes we had it. Daddy got it from some place he visited on one of his office trips. Guess, I vaguely remember it being said as a Russian toy.” Saying this I got to thinking if I am mixing up with the Russian stacking dolls. “Oh ya my dad got it too from some place and it uses capillary action for perpetual motion.”
I was like “don’t talk nerdy.” He carefully explained how the liquid uses capillary action and gravitation to keep moving perpetually.
“We spent many hours examining the bird in action at some point we broke it.” Even before I could finish the sentence he burst into laughter. “We did that too.” Now I couldn’t stop laughing. After all the laughter subsided I stated in a more satisfying tone, “Now our little one is getting to do things like that.” I smiled inadvertently and added, “he tears off the pages from his books and hands it to me expecting me to stick it back. And this is just the beginning.”
Alright after this conversation I googled the drinking bird and it doesn’t really use capillary action but uses heat transfer. It is not actually a Russian invention but originated in China in early 19th century. Interesting information. I recollected this toy after watching the movie “When Harry met Sally.”