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1983

Moving

Jodie and a girl named Karen arrive in the Children's Department.  After they take their coats off, Jodie invites her to take a look around, and to play with anything that she wants.  She explains that Sam and Jeff don't know that she's in the store yet, but she's sure that they would want to meet her.  Then, noticing Karen's sad expression, she acknowledges that while it's sad to move away from home and friends, she'll see a new place and meet new friends.

Karen, not entirely convinced, replies, "I suppose so."

Jodie continues, explaining that she should be proud, considering that Karen is moving because her mother got a job as the manager of a new bank.  When Karen questions why the job has to be in another city, Jodie explains that all of the banks in the area already have managers, and that the new branch was built in another city, and that's why they have to move.  "You understand, don't you? Jodie asks.  Karen nods her head yes.

"Good," Jodie says.  "Okay, I'm going to go round up the others, and you stay here and make yourself at home.  Okay?"

Muffy comes in, singing, "Beautiful cheeses don't make you sneeze, please may I have a big piece I can squee..." and then is startled upon noticing Karen.

"You're a mouse!" exclaims Karen.

"I'm Muffy Mouse, I must confess," responds Muffy, "and, uh, you're a little girl, I guess?"

"My name's Karen," she says, shaking hands with Muffy.

"Oh.  Well.  Now we both know who is who, and said 'hello' and 'how do you do', could you explain just one thing more?  What are you doing in our store?!"

Karen explains that Jodie is taking care of her while her parents help the movers, because they're moving to another city, far away.

"Oh, a new home with your mum and dad!  That's great!" says Muffy.  "So why look so sad?"

"I want to stay here, with my friends," explains Karen, asking if Muffy ever had to move.

Muffy then describes her previous home in a house.  That house was eventually torn down, which led her to move to the store, where she is much happier than she was before.  She then asks Karen, "But why is your family going to move?  Don't they know you disapprove?"

"Yes," Karen explains, "but my dad's going to teach at a school there.  He's a teacher.  And my mum is going to be a bank manager."

"Oh!  I know mice who live in banks," says Muffy.  "Do I want to?  No thanks!  Just piles of money at your feet.  There's not a piece of cheese to eat.  And while some think that money's lucky, just one nibble makes me feel yucky!"

"You're funny!" remarks Karen.

Muffy explains that it's because she talks in rhyme, and suggests that Karen try it herself.

After thinking for a moment, Karen tries a rhyme, saying, "I think you are... very nice.  And that is why... I like mice!"

Muffy giggles, and then congratulates Karen.  "Oh, bravo!  Bravo!  That's great, you know!"

Jodie, Jeff, and Sam come into the Children's Department, and Jodie remarks about how well Karen and Muffy are getting along.  She then introduces Karen to Sam.

Sam introduces himself, and then says, "Jodie tells me that you're going to be staying in a hotel tonight.  Have you ever stayed in a hotel before?"  Karen hasn't.  Sam explains that she'll like it, and that it's lots of fun.  "You know what I like?  You don't have to make your own bed!"

Jodie tells Sam that the next day, Karen and her parents are going to get on a train and travel across the country to their new home.  Jeff remarks that he wishes that he could travel on a train.  Jodie then introduces Karen to Jeff, reminding her about his magic hat.

"Hi, Karen," says Jeff.  "If you want, we could take a trip around the store, and that way you'll be able to see everything."

"Can Jenny come, too?" asks Karen, referring to her doll.

"Of course!" replies Jeff.  "How 'bout it, Jenny?  Would you like to come with us?"

Karen asks Jeff if his hat is really magic.  Jeff says yes, but explains that the hat only works inside the store.

"I wish I had a magic hat.  Then I could stay here with my friends!" says Karen.

Jeff doesn't quite know what to say.  Sam breaks the awkward moment, bringing Karen's attention over to him, remarking, "It's funny, isn't it, uh, how those that don't want to move end up, uh, moving all the time, and those that do want to move, uh, they never get the chance, or something like that."

"But why move, anyway?" asks Karen.  "It's stupid!"

Jodie explains that there are lots of reasons why people move, and Jeff, Sam, and Muffy join in song, explaining reasons why people move, including a need for more space, a change of setting, new jobs, and better weather.

After a quiz, Sam, Jodie, and Muffy are in the Children's Department.  Sam expresses hope that Karen is enjoying her tour of the store.  Jodie agrees, explaining that Karen was so upset about moving that her mother didn't want her to see the movers taking the things out of her house - thus why she's at the store.  Muffy remarks that once Karen is settled in her new town and meets some friends, she will have just as much fun as she had there, and that her worries will be over.  Jodie agrees, but explains that Karen doesn't know that yet.  All that Karen knows is that she is leaving everything that she is familiar with behind and going to a new place where she doesn't know anybody.  Sam understands, and says that they'll just have to be extra nice to her.

Jeff and Karen then come back into the Children's Department, as Jeff finishes up an explanation of how his magic hat works.

"Oh, hi there, Karen!" says Sam.  "Did Jeff show you everything?"

"If you ever have to move," remarks Karen, "you'll need a lot of moving trucks!"  Everyone is amused by Karen's remark.

"Yeah, you've got a point there!" says Sam.  "Certainly is a lot of stuff in this store!  Mind you, they can move anything these days!"

"Sam, do you think they might move the store one day, and I'll wake up in a different place?" asks Jeff.

Sam considers that prospect unlikely, but adds that if they ever did, he would have a lot of new friends like Karen will have.

"No, I won't," says Karen, sadly.

When Jodie challenges this, explaining that it is easy to make new friends, Karen snaps back, "It isn't!  They'll be different!  They won't like the same things I like, and they won't want to be my friends."

Muffy calls Karen out on this assertion.  "Now, young lady, listen here.  We all are different, that is clear.  But likes and dislikes aren't to blame.  To be friends, you don't have to be the same!"

"You don't?" asks Karen.  Everyone then begins singing about the fact that they're great friends, but even though they're different in many ways, they love each other for it and embrace it.

Later, Sam and Karen are in the Children's Department playing checkers and chatting about TXL.  Sam explains while a computer is certainly a funny friend, TXL is very reliable, telling him almost everything that he needs to know, as well as a few things that he doesn't want to know.  When Karen asks him if he has a lot of funny friends, he admits that Jeff and Muffy are probably a bit funny as well, and that once, while he was in the merchant marine, became quite friendly with a sea gull.  Sam doesn't know where the sea gull is now, but he was amazed when it came down and took a liverwurst and onion sandwich right out of his hand.  Sam then tells Karen about the time that Penelope met a strange friend of her own.

Next, we see a series of still images, with TXL narrating as Penelope's voice, showing Penelope befriending a rabbit and playing hide and seek.

Sam then explains that the moral of the story is that you can make friends with practically anybody, as long as you give it a go.  And, speaking of go, it's Karen's turn.  She moves her piece, and then Sam jumps her, taking her piece.  Karen then makes her next move, jumping three of Sam's pieces and reaching the other end of the board.  "I suppose that you're good at Xs and Os, too, aren't you?"  Karen nods yes.  "Yeah, I kind of figured that," he says, chuckling.

Later, Sam is telling Jeff and Sam what happened earlier when he and Karen were playing checkers, explaining that Karen won all three games.  Jodie walks in, asking if they have seen Karen, because it's time for her to go and meet her parents.  Sam thought that she was with Jodie.  Jeff suggests that perhaps she's lost in the store.  Jodie doesn't think that Karen could be lost, but then realizes that Karen is probably hiding.  Jeff recognizes that hiding won't help.  Jodie agrees, and explains that sometimes when people are very unhappy like Karen is, they will sometimes try to run away from their problems rather than face them.  Muffy, Sam, and Jodie go out to look for Karen, while Jeff checks the Children's Department.  Jodie reminds everyone that Karen is not very big, so she could be anywhere.

Jeff, checking for Karen in the Children's Department, first checks a small house next to the steps.  When he bends over to look in the window, his magic hat falls to the floor.  Karen, who is hiding in the house, sees this, and comes out with Jenny.  She sets Jenny down on the floor next to the house, places Jeff's hat back on his head, and then, as she returns to her hiding place in the house, says the magic words to bring Jeff back to life.  However, she forgets to bring Jenny back with her.

Jeff looks at us, asking, "What happened?"  Then he realizes that he had lost his hat.  But he's a bit confused, because he doesn't see anyone around who could have said the magic words.

He then sees Jenny, still sitting on the floor, and strikes up a conversation with her.  "Hi, Jenny!" he says.  "Are you all alone?  You must be very unhappy, too, like Karen.  It's not very nice being unhappy, is it?  When I'm sad - oh, I get sad and lonely, too - sometimes I'm sad because I have to stay in the store all the time, and I wonder what it's like to walk out on the grass or climb a tree.  And sometimes I'm frightened that I'll wake up and Jodie and Sam and Muffy will be gone."  Karen emerges from her hiding place, as Jeff continues.  "You know what I feel like doing when I'm really sad?  I feel like throwing my magic hat away and being a mannequin forever."

"But if you throw away your magic hat," interjects Karen, "you won't be real anymore!"

Jeff acknowledges the consequences of such a move, that he would never be able to see or hear or talk ever again.  He explains that he would essentially be hiding from his problems through such a move - just like Karen is.

Karen asks, "Are you going to tell Jodie where I am?"

Jeff nods yes.

"I thought you were my friend!" Karen says, somewhat in disbelief.

Jeff explains that he is her friend, but he's also Jodie's friend, and she is very worried about her.  When Karen posits that Jodie doesn't care about her, Jeff explains that Jodie cares about her very much, but that we all have to do things that we don't want to, and that Jodie also knows that she won't be sad for long, that she will soon make new friends and become accustomed to her new surroundings.

"I'm scared," says Karen.

Jeff admits that he gets scared sometimes, too.  He tells Karen that when he feels like that, he says to himself, "Jeff, you are a very special person!"

"That's because you're a mannequin!" says Karen.

Jeff disagrees, explaining that when he's a mannequin, he's the same as all of the other mannequins.  He's only special when he's a real person, and that everyone is different, and that's what makes everyone special.

"I'm not special," Karen says.

"Yes, you are," counters Jeff.  "Why, you are the only you in the whole wide world!"  Jeff then sings about what makes Karen and everyone else special.  "We can laugh, cry, smile, be very funny, or be very smart.  We can care, share, dream all the dreams that we keep in our heart.  We can do so much, yes, we can do so much!"

When the song is over, Jeff asks Karen, "Well, shall we go tell Jodie we're ready?"  Karen nods yes with a slight smile.

After a quiz, Jodie gets her coat and Karen's coat, handing it to her.  Karen says goodbye to Muffy, admits that it's sad to say goodbye, but to have a good time, and don't forget to rhyme.

"I'll try and do what you suggest.  I'll try and do my very best," responds Karen.

"Oh, you rhyme better than most mice!" replies Muffy.  "In fact, I think you're very nice."  She then gives Karen a kiss.

Sam agrees, encouraging Karen to take care of herself, and keep in contact.  He also expects Karen to be the best checker player in the whole neighborhood.

Jeff comes over with Jenny, says goodbye, and tells her to take good care of Jenny.  Karen seeks confirmation that Jeff won't throw away his magic hat.  Jeff raises his hand and promises not to.  He also reminds her to give her new neighborhood a chance.

Karen and Jodie leave the Children's Department, but then Karen comes back and gives Jeff a kiss on the cheek.

"We can laugh, cry, smile," sings Jeff, "be very funny, or be very smart.  We can care, share, dream all the dreams that we keep in our heart.  We can do so much, yes, we can do so much!"


Quizzes:

  • Three toy cars: a truck, a station wagon, and a van.  Which one could move the most suitcases?  (The truck)  Why?  (It's bigger)  A large suitcase is then placed on top of the truck, and the truck drives off.
  • The birds are flying away.  What scared the birds off?  (An alligator, who, despite appearances, only wanted to be friends)
  • It appears that a whole family is moving.  Can you find all of the pets?  (Five)  Which pet is each one?  (A cat, a dog, a fish, a bird, and a rabbit)
  • An empty room, where someone will soon be moving in.  But the movers have made a few mistakes.  What are they?  (The chair, the couch, and the curtains are upside down)  The objects are put in proper place, and then quickly rearranged again.
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