For those who are too CHEEP-CHEEP to pop for the "Chick Trick," we've put the original, "The Hoppy," here on the site for you. Take note that this was originally developed in 1959 and is a condensed version due to limited space in the NEW TOPS. Ron Bauer's "Chick Trick" is written in the same style as the Private Studies. As a matter of fact, although it's not part of the series, you still get plenty of theatrical features you don't get elsewhere and a BONUS...a virtually impossible to find "right kind of CHICK!"
Copyright © 1981 by Ron Bauer
I don't know whether this is a Card
trick or a Frog trick...you decide.
Picture the crowd around the table
eagerly and expectantly leaning forward
The center of their attention is a
charming individual who is introducing,
in hushed tones, a sacred treasure. It
in his closed fist right now. "Ladies
and gentlemen, you are in the presence
of... THE HOPPY!"
"That's what I call him," he explains.
"THE HOPPY seemed the only appropriate
name when I observed certain... features
of his... design. But, see for yourselves."
He opens his hand revealing what appears
to be a crumpled dollar bill. No, the
bill is wrapped around something. Reverently
he unwraps the tiny parcel.
"He likes the texture of this type of
paper... and can get quite upset if not
regularly supplied with it. In fact, if
you leave any lying around, he'll GRABITT... GRABITT!" The revelation of the
contents causes the crowd to gasp. Can
this guy be concerned over that... little
"Careful!" he warns them. "I cannot be
responsible... do not make him angry. He
has taken this form to make a place for
himself in our society. And, like many
minorities have historically done, he has
chosen Show-Biz. For example, he has
prepared a card trick. I will assist..."
The audience seems willing to give him and
THE HOPPY the benefit of the doubt. Two
even smile as they each select a card.
"THE HOPPY does not wish to flaunt his
incredible abilities, and has directed
me to keep this simple. So, I'll
eliminate most of the cards in the deck... and use just these few."
He sets all but a few of the cards aside.
Then he has each of the two who selected
cards return them to this batch. "I'll
mix them thoroughly... You cut them, please... and now, I'll deal them into a pattern
which makes THE HOPPY happy. I think
it reminds him of his pond..." he says,
as he deals the entire packet faces
down onto the table in a roughly circular
"Now, before THE HOPPY demonstrates his
remarkable abilities, I sense there is
some message he wishes to confide..."
The audience tries to be polite, but
cannot help reacting somewhat to the
first sounds they've ever perceived
from a HOPPY. Clicking Sounds! Or is
that the sound of Winding?
Too late. THE HOPPY has finished his
"message" and is being placed on the
table. Suddenly, he comes to life... and scampers and hops about on the
tabled cards. Just as suddenly, he
"Ladies and gentlemen! Observe an
amazing demonstration proving THE HOPPY'S
mastery and control of Numerology and
Higher Mathematics. Observe simplicity
only possible through genius. Observe
the Six of Spades... a Six... One-Two-Three-
THE HOPPY has landed on the Six of Spades.
The Helper of the Hoppy counts clockwise
around the pattern of cards, one card for
each number. He picks up the sixth card
and asks the name of the first card
selected. The answer and the card match.
"THE HOPPY expects applause after each
success... let us not risk offending..."
The crowd doesn't need this cue. The
applause is forthcoming. It seems to
have only been momentarily delayed by
the shock of what they are witnessing.
"I thank you, ladies and gentlemen, on
behalf of THE HOPPY. However, as a
reminder of his deserved requirement
for ovation, he has requested that I
reveal the next card for him in a
certain way. Using the remaining cards
I'll spell out something for you. It's
a reminder that if you forget to applaud... H-O-P-P-Y-W-I-L-L-G-E-T-Y-O-U. Get it?
"Okay. As you see, all but one of these
cards has been eliminated...this one.
What was the name of the second card
The card is named. It is the single
card. The applause is spontaneous.
Does THE HOPPY appear pleased?
"Now, one last, final proof of THE HOPPY'S
mastery of magical entertaining. Folks,
a new star is born tonight! Henning -
Copperfield - Blackstone - even the
Grate Thomsonski must yield to THE HOPPY.
Point to another card."
The packet of cards is fanned and one
card is touched by an adoring fan.
Everyone eagerly looks at the selection,
the Four of Spades. All are intent on
being part of the next few historic
moments. While a spectator shuffles
and deals the cards onto the table, THE
HOPPY takes time for one more brief
conference with his Helper. (Is that
Winding we hear or not?)
Oh, well, no time to worry about it now
THE HOPPY is frantically leaping and
dancing over the cards. He stops on one.
Gathering all the rejects, The Hoppy
Helper poses the following question,
just to build up the suspense, "Since
you did it all... picked the card...
shuffled it into the rest... dealt them
down. Do you freely admit that it would
be an unparalleled feat for the... what's
the card?... the Four of Spades to be
under THE HOPPY at this moment?"
Well, what else could anyone respond?
Yes, of course. The suspense is unbearable.
He takes the card from beneath THE
HOPPY. Wait! He puts it on top of
the discards. What is this? Now
he's picking up THE HOPPY, turning him
belly-up to reveal - the Four of Spades
pictured on the abdomen of THE HOPPY!
"A little joke THE HOPPY thought might
amuse you, but don't be disappointed.
And flipping over the top card of the
discards, there it is as promised...
the card under THE HOPPY was the Four
of Spades after all. Applause. Applause.
"THE HOPPY must leave us for now. But,
a magical exit or to go out like a Rock
Star? That's the final question to be
THE HOPPY is wrapped in his dollar bill
and apparently placed into one hand, but
the other hand arouses suspicion. The
shaken crowd won't tolerate that sort of
magical exit. They want the Rock Star
Finale... they get it. THE HOPPY and his
dollar bill are ignited into a spectacular
and blinding flash! Will his devoted fans
ever hear from him again? BET ON IT!
Click to Enlarge
Required are a deck of
cards with a simple set-up of eight cards.
From the top: 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-A-Balance of
the deck. The suits don't matter. (Fig. 1)
Select one of the lower value cards. In
our example it's the Four of Spades. Put
pencil dots on the back diagonal corners... upper left and lower right. (Fig. 2)
Next you need a small, wind-up, hopping
frog. (Fig. 3) It must be small enough
to be wrapped up in dollar bill. On the
belly of the frog glue or wax a miniature
Four of Spades, that is, a duplicate of
the penci1-dotted card you use in the
Finally, you will need a real dollar
bill, a flash bill, and three or four
sheets from a flash pad. Wrap the windup
frog in the real dollar bill with
the dark side outward. Then make a
duplicate package... as close in appearance
as you can... with the flash bill wrapped
around the loosely bunched sheets of
flash paper. (Fig. 4)
The set-up is simple: Cards in case,
flash package and cigarette lighter in
right coat pocket, bill-wrapped frog in
closed hand, and the winding key handy.
- Place the deck of cards on the table,
slightly off to the side.
- Show the wrapped-up frog, THE HOPPY.
Unwrap and set him on the table. (Do not
let the miniature card be seen.)
- Have two cards selected from the deck... from anywhere except the top eight.
- Remove the top eight cards face-down
and discard the rest of the deck.
- Spectator B replaces card on packet
- Spectator A replaces card on top of
- Cut the packet several times. Do
the Charlier Shuffle... taking alternating
batches of cards from the left into the
right... top batches always under, lower
batches always on top. The packet is now
only cut, not mixed. (Refer to Royal
Road to Card Magic for details.)
- Have spectator cut off some of the
packet onto the table. Drop the remaining
amount of the packet on top. Pick up
and square them.
- Deal the packet clockwise, faces down
in a circle. Secretly spot the Pencil-Dot Card. (Fig. 6)
- Wind up THE HOPPY and put him in
the center of the circle so he may hop
- When THE HOPPY stops, turn up the
card indicated. Using the number of the
card, count clockwise starting with the
next face-down card. This will bring
you to card A.
- Ask spectator A to name his card,
then turn up the card and leave it faceup
on the table.
- Gather up all of the remaining facedown
cards. While doing this, secretly
place the Pencil-Dotted Card onto Card B,
and both on top of the packet. Once
again, the Pencil Dot and Casual Handling.
- Spell "HOPPY WILL GET YOU" taking one
card from the top of the packet for each
letter. Begin the spell by dealing the
top card onto the table, the next card
underneath, the next card onto the table,
and so on. You will end up with one card
face down in your hand.
- Ask spectator B to name his card.
Show that the card in your hand is correct.
Place it face-up on the table next to
- Pick up the face-down packet and, using
both hands, spread it into a fan as shown
in Figure 7. Secretly maneuver the Four
of Spades, which is beneath the fan, so
it's lined up with the top card. This is
the set-up for the Hofzinser TOUCH FORCE.
However, the relative position of the
force card and the right hand is essential
in successfully handling this force.
- Ask a spectator to touch one of the
cards in the fan. Rush him a bit by
pushing the fan slightly closer than
necessary, and then begin withdrawing
it as he reaches forward to make his
- When the spectator touches a card,
replace his finger with yours to acknowledge
his choice. Then with the left
fingers grab all the cards below the
indicated card and take them away from
the fan. The right hand doesn't move.
- Rotate the right wrist so the edge
of the fan, where the cards were split,
can be tapped against the top of the
table. This action squares the cards
in the right hand. Hold the packet so
the face of the Four of Spades can be
seen by the spectators.
- Drop the cards in the right onto
the cards in the left hand. Hand them
to the spectator to mix. Pick up the
two face-up cards from the table. Have
the spectator mix those in with the rest.
- Direct the spectator to deal the
cards into a circle on the table as
you had earlier .
- Wind up THE HOPPY and turn him
loose in the center of the circle.
While he's hopping around, spot the
- Put THE HOPPY on top of the card
that he stopped at and gather up the
remaining cards. Secretly position
the Pencil Dotted Card on the top of
the packet. Get a little-finger break
under the top card as you square the
packet in the dealing position in your
- Pick up THE HOPPY and set him beside
the face-down card. Take the card from
the table and place it on top of the
packet. Automatically, you have a break
beneath the two top cards of the packet.
- Pick up THE HOPPY and hold him over
the packet. Ask the question, as in
the presentation, and turn THE HOPPY
belly-up so that the miniature card may
- Double push-off the top cards of
the packet with your left thumb. Flip
these cards as one face-up onto the
packet with your right middle finger,
revealing the Four of Spades.
- Set THE HOPPY down and casually
flip the entire packet in the left hand
over. Take a few cards and turn them
over and put them underneath the packet.
Spread the packet and right the remaining
cards. This cleans you up without
accidentally exposing that the turnover
was a double.
NOW, THE ROCK STAR FINALE...
- Wrap THE HOPPY in his dollar bill.
Hold this package in the right hand at
- Apparently place the package into
the left hand and close the fingers.
Actually, you hold the package against
the fingers of the
right thumb. This
move in magic.
- Go through the crushing the package
ritual with the left hand. Then open
the fingers to show that THE HOPPY has
vanished. (?) The right hand, meanwhile,
is casually put into the right coat pocket
where you exchange the package with THE
HOPPY for the flash package. Bring out
the flash package with the right hand
and show it around. Don't give anyone
too good a look, however.
- This time actually place the package
into the left hand. Pause, then open
the hand and show it's still there. Turn
the left hand palm-down and work the
package to the fingertips while the
right hand gets the lighter.
- Light the lighter and ignite the
package. Be sure it's burning at least
half-way through before you toss it into
the air... where it glows brightly for a
moment... then is gone!
Sometimes THE HOPPY doesn't follow the
script and lands on one of
the selected cards. Don't be intimidated
by his lack of professionalism. Merely
resort to whichever of the following
variations and the plot will remain
VARIATION ONE - THE HOPPY stops on
Card A or Card B.
Delete the remarks about "Numerology
and Higher Mathematics." Then, since
you know which card it is by secretly
counting over from the Pencil Dotted
Card, ask the appropriate spectator to
name his card. Turn the card face up
and show it. Go directly into the
spelling and the rest of the presentation
VARIATION TWO - THE HOPPY stops on the
Pencil Dotted Card.
Turn it, the Four of Spades, face up.
Count four places, and turn the chosen
card face up. Place it in front of
Spectator A as in the original presentation.
Tell the audience, "You see, THE
HOPPY not only knew where your card was
located... he also anticipated how he
would reveal it... look!" Turn THE HOPPY
belly-up revealing the miniature, which
"proves" he knew which card he would
stop at to indicate the location of the
Proceed with spelling "HOPPY WILL GET YOU"
to find the next chosen card. Then go
directly into the Rock Star Finale.
THE HOPPY is based on Hen Fetsch's HOPPY,
THE FROG, which, by the way, is based
on Howard P. Albright's Gilleegalloo Bird,
which, by the way, is based on who knows
how many automatons from the past.
However, Fetsch's frog appealed to me
because of its small size. It's easy
to carry, and it can be wrapped in a bill
for the Milbourne Christopher flash paper
vanish used in the Rock Star Finale.
Unfortunately, it's difficult to find the
little metal wind-up type frogs lately.
I've had mine for this presentation since
the early sixties.
But, there are plastic frogs and other
wind-up hopping toys available in the
stores. They can easily be substituted
without losing the fun element of "a
tiny, determined creature who does
card tricks." And, as far as the ending
is concerned, if you end up with something
too large to be enclosed in a
bill, I recommend Colored flash paper
rather than white. HAPPY HOPPING!
Copyright © 1981 by Ron Bauer