Whether you have a gift for creating realistic masterpieces with a paintbrush or struggle to draw a basic stick figure with a pencil, you can probably draw a bird. At the very least, you could try.

And what better day to give it a shot than Draw A Bird Day?

Although it's not a recognized holiday, it's celebrated worldwide on April 8 as a way to find joy in life's simple pleasures and to help people temporarily forget their suffering.

According to the Draw A Bird Day website, the holiday dates back to 1943 when a 7-year-old British girl named Dorie Cooper went to visit her uncle who'd been wounded in the war.

The man was distraught after losing his leg to a landmine, so in an attempt to distract him, Dorie asked him to draw her a bird.

He drew a picture of a robin, and Dorie laughed, saying he wasn’t a very gifted artist but that she’d hang the drawing in her room anyway.

The young girl's honesty and acceptance lifted the soldier's spirits, and every time Dorie visited after that, he and the other wounded soldiers would have a contest to see who could create the best bird picture.

In a matter of months, the ward's walls were covered in bird drawings.

Tragically, Dorie was hit by a car three years later and killed. At her funeral, her coffin was filled with bird pictures drawn by soldiers, nurses and doctors from her uncle's hospital.

She was remembered as the little girl who brought life and hope to a ward of suffering, and since her death, people have been honoring Dorie by drawing birds on her birthday.

Anyone can participate in celebrating Dorie's life by drawing a bird on April 8 and sharing it with someone.

You can even submit your drawing to the Draw A Bird Day website, where it'll be shared with the world.

If you need a little guidance in the art of drawing a bird, watch the video below or check out some examples drawn by MNN editors.

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