This magnet pictures a painting named "Birds of Joy and Sorrow" by Russian artist, Victor Viktor Michailovitch Vasnetsov (1848-1926). In Russian folklore an alkonost is a siren-like sirin creature with the body of a owl-like bird, the head of a beautiful woman and hypnotic sound power. Wikipedia tells me that alkonosts lay their eggs on the beach then roll them into the sea. Hatching causes a thunderstorm that makes sea travel impossible. They're welcome fortune-telling companions for saints but ordinary humans are apt to lose their minds upon hering the Alkonost's song, and follow them to their peril. By the time Vasnetsov produced this painting, however, the reputation of sirins had morphed into symbols of eternal joy and happiness – denied to many. Few were happy enough to hear the harmonious song of a sirin and fewer still could see one because sirins were as fast and hard to catch as happiness.