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The magician apologizes to the audience -- he forgot the magic rope for his rope trick. BUT, luckily he had chicken for lunch, so he'll use a chicken bone, say a magic word and turn it into a rope with a knot in it.
The magician shows the audience the magic box inside and out (er, a Kentucky Fried Chicken box would work well). He can also let them examine the chicken bone (if he's comfortable that no one will break it).
The magician places a chicken bone into a magic box. He says abracadabra but nothing happens. He considers for a moment (consults his magic puppet or assistant if he has one) and realizes he should have said Alaka-chicken.
He places the bone into the box again. He reminds the audience to help him remember the correct magic word. He waves his magic wand over the box and says Abraca-chicken!
Oh no! (either the assistant or the magic puppet or the audience can point out that he's used the wrong magic word again).
What can it mean? What happened? The magician looks nervous and tells the audience that Abraca-chicken is a very advanced magic word... He wasn't ready for magic that advanced.
The magician reaches into the magic box and pulls out a chicken bone with a knot into it. (remember, it was supposed to turn into a rope with a knot in it).
BEFORE THE TRICK:
This trick is half science.
Drop one of the chicken bones into the vinegar. Make sure it's totally immersed. Leave it there for a day. (you will notice it bubbling). When calcium carbonate (in the bone) and acetic acid (the vinegar) combine, a chemical reaction takes place and carbon dioxide (a gas) is released. This is what the bubbles are made of.
The bone will now be like a piece of string. Tie it in a knot. Leave it sit on the table for another day. Carbon dioxide from the air will re-enter the bone making it hard again.
Put the knotted bone inside one of the magic boxes. Leave the other one empty, set them both on the low table that no one but the magician can see.
DURING THE TRICK:
Note: If using a handkerchief, fiddle around with it a lot to make the audience think it has something to do with the magic.
Take the empty magic box and put it on the table. Let everyone see that it's empty. Place the chicken bone in the box. Cover with a handkerchief (optional). Wave your magic wand over it and say Abracadabra. Remove the handkerchief, pull out the bone and look very disappointed.
When you're revealing that nothing happened, look embarrassed and quickly put everything back on the table. Make sure you put the box as close as possible to the other box.
Make it look like you're getting ready for / starting to explain the next trick. Then have your assistant or magic puppet remind you that you used the wrong magic word. (or remember yourself).
Look very excited and start repeating the correct magic word ALAKA-CHICKEN to yourself. Moving quickly like you're excited to get going again, put the bone back in the empty box WHILE IT'S STILL ON THE LOW TABLE.
Now turn to the audience and ask them to help you remember the new magic word.
Pick up the box with the knotted bone inside. Cover with a handkerchief. Wave the wand and say ABRACA-CHICKEN.
In all the excitement and confusion the audience should miss the fact that you switched boxes.
Realize that you've said the wrong word again (with the audience's/magic puppet/assistant's help). Look nervous -- it's an advanced magic word *gulp*. Remove the handkerchief. Reach in and pull out the chicken bone with a knot in it.
(you can say something like: The bad news is that it didn't turn into a rope. The good news is that it does have a knot in it).
You can give it to the audience to look at.
The thing I really like about this trick is that even if they do figure out you switched boxes they'll be hard pressed to sort out how you tied a knot in a chicken bone *grin*