How to Carry Objects While Swimming, 1595

woodcut of naked man on his back in a river holding two birds

To carrie any thing drie over the water in his hands. This is onely done by swimming upon his backe, and strayning himselfe to lye straight with his body, so that he holde his armes straight up, which will else force him to bend his bodie, and so he shall sincke, and holding his armes upward as afore, he may easilie carrie, or recarry, any thing over the water without wetting, as for example.

Christopher Middleton, A Short Introduction for to Learne to Swimme

Need to cross a river with cargo? This technique will get you to the other side with your belongings dry. As the illustration suggests, it works particularly well with… live birds.