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It is a cold day in the department store. In Sam's computer room, both Sam and Muffy are wearing warm clothing and shivering. "Chattering chipmunks, it's cold tonight!" Sam says. "Maybe I better turn the heat on, huh?"

Muffy agrees. "Yes, turn the heat on, I'm cold through and through. This little gray mouse is turning blue!"

Sam offers Muffy some of his hot chocolate, but he asks her not to take the marshmallow on top because that is his favorite part. As Muffy takes a sip, Sam tries to remember which key on TXL to push for heat.

"Mmm, Sam, this is really good," says Muffy. "I'd like to drink some more if I could." Sam tells her to go ahead and finish it, but to be careful not to spill it.

"Oh, Sam, you're a fine, fine fellow to share your drink with the marshmallow," she says, but when she goes to take another sip, she knocks it all over TXL's keyboard.

"What's that?" TXL exclaims as the drink hits her. "It feels awful!"

"Oh, muttering magpies, Muffy, look what you done! I told you to be careful!"

"I'm sorry, Sam, I'm sorry! I really am!"

Sam is livid. "Oh sorry! You're always sorry, but you're never careful!"

The keys are all sticky, and the marshmallows are in the spacer. TXL announces now that her keys are stuck and that Sam can no longer use them to turn on the heat."

"Can't turn the heat on?" bellows Sam. "Oh, nice going Muffy, coldest day of the year, and now we can't turn the heat on. Terrific!"

"I didn't try to break your machine. You'd think I did it just to be mean!"

Sam begins to answer her when TXL interrupts to tell them bickering won't help.

"Well, Miss Know-it-All," Sam addresses TXL, "what will help, then?"

"There's no need to get upset with me," TXL responds. "I'm not the one who jammed up the keys!"

"I know that, I know! Just tell me what we're supposed to do now!"

"Well, I suggest you try and keep warm on your own. In the meantime, I'll try to get the heat going myself."

Sam isn't comforted by this advice. How will they keep warm themselves if they can't turn the furnace on?

Next, we see the Mime Lady. She is shivering, too, and rubbing her hands together. Her teeth are chattering. "Do you think she's hot or cold?" asks TXL. "Yes, she's very cold. Better turn the heat up!" The Mime Lady reaches up and mimes turning a dial, after which, relieved, she smiles.

Meanwhile, back at the store, in the Children's Department, Jeff and Jodie are feeling the chill. "You know, there's gotta be something wrong," Jodie tells Jeff. "It's usually cool in the store, but it shouldn't be this cold."

Sam and Muffy come in, still arguing. "Oh sure, Muffy, sure!" Sam is saying. "I know you're sorry. And if we all get frozen fingers and toes, I suppose you'll be sorry then, too."

"Oh, Sam," Muffy pleads. "Please don't scold me so. I already feel badly, you know!"

"Sam, there you are! What happened to the heat?" Jodie says. She and Jeff hug themselves and rub their arms trying to warm themselves.

"Why don't you ask our little friend here? She's the one responsible for this mess!"

"Muffy, what's going on?" Jodie asks.

Muffy explains, "I spilled hot chocolate on the computer keys. Now, everything's stuck and we're all going to freeze!"

"You mean like icicles?" Jeff asks.

"That's right!" says Sam. "We're all gonna turn into frozen icicles and we have that little mouse, who has the nerve to call herself our friend, to thank for it!"

"Oh dear, I can't stand it any more," cries Muffy. "I'm running away right out of the store!"

Jodie rushes over to stop Muffy while Sam says sarcastically, "Bye!"

Jodie turns to Sam, "Will you stop picking on Muffy? I'm sure she didn't spill anything on purpose. Look, we're all in this together, so we're just going to have to help each other out. First of all, isn't there some way that the computer can turn on the heat back on while the keys are stuck?"

"Well, she thinks she might be able to. She's working on it, anyway."

"Well, in the meantime, we'll just have to put on some extra clothing." She points out that there are lots of things in the display that they can use.

"I'm too cold and too depressed to even think of getting dressed." Muffy laments.

Jeff picks up a little brown scarf and puts it on Muffy. "Come on! Think of it as an adventure!"

Sam isn't convinced. "Terrific adventure this is, all of us huddled here with no heat because some sloppy mouse, whose name I will not mention, but whose initials happen to be MM..."

Jodie has had enough. She raises her voice to say, "Okay, Sam, knock it off! Look, what's done is done, we're just going to have to make the best of it. She grabs Sam's scarf, which is loosely hung around his neck. Sam makes a strangled noise as she tightens the scarf around him. "There! Are you warmer now?"

"Thank you - no!" Sam says.

"If the truth is told," Muffy says, "I'm still cold."

"Me, too," says Jeff.

"I don't feel a bit warmer!" Sam adds.

Jodie says, "You know what's wrong with all of us? We're thinking cold. We've gotta think warm!"

"Think warm?" Jeff asks while putting on some gloves.

"Let's pretend that we're someplace warm and cozy." She looks at us, "Can you think of someplace warm and cozy?" She adds, "Say, like in front of a fireplace toasting marshmallows?"

Sam erupts. "Don't talk to me about marshmallows!"

"Okay, then, Sam, you think of something warm, then."

"I can't, Jodie, I can only think cold things."

"Oh, Sam!" Jodie exclaims.

Sam begins to sing, "Like polar bears and ice skating, ice cream and ice castle making. Feel so cold, I'm nearly froze. Look, I can hardly feel my nose! I feel cold, cold, cold, cold. Brrrrrr! I feel cold."

"Now I'm really cold, Sam!" says Jeff.

"Yeah come on, Sam, you can't think cold. You're just making all of us cold," Jodie blows into her gloved hands. Jeff rubs his gloved hands together.

"Well I can't think of anything warm, what do you want for my life?"

"Never mind, Sam, listen to this," Jodie says, "Sandy beaches, sunny days, sitting in the garden soaking up the rays. Fishing by the river, hot dogs at the fair, swimming in the ocean with sunshine everywhere! Think warm! Warm, warm, warm! Oooooooooh, nice and warm." She takes off a glove and dabs at her face as if to mop up perspiration.

"You know, I think it's working, Jodie, I feel a little warmer," says Jeff.

Sam refuses to give in. "I'm still cold," he says.

"Listen to this Sam," says Jeff. "You just listen! Out on a sailboat getting a tan, it's so hot that I need a fan. Playing by the poolside, splashing a friend," ("Hey, cut that out!" responds Sam as Jeff mimes splashing him.) "Hoping the hot weather will never end! Think warm, warm, warm, WARM!" Jeff aims this last "warm" right at Sam. "Oooooooooh, nice and warm."

"Oh, Jeff I think it's working, definitely," Jodie says. "I feel warmer, definitely." She fans herself with her hand.

"I must confess," says Muffy, "'I'm shivering less!"

"Oh, good," says Jodie. "Sam?"

"Well," Sam admits reluctantly, "It does seem to have thawed in here a little."

"Yeah, I think we're making progress!" says Jeff.

Jodie says happily "Oh great! Now everybody, think warm!" She then turns to us. "Would you think warm with us, too? We need all the help we can get. Okay, everybody, here we go, think warm!" She begins to sing, "Taking a bath, afternoon tea..."

Muffy joins in, "Curling up in bed with a blanket over me!"

Jeff adds, "Sitting by a fireside and warming your toes."

Sam suddenly interjects, "Hey, I think I can feel my nose!"

Then, all together, the four of them sing, "Think warm, warm, warm, warm! Oooooooooh, nice and warm!" ,Then they all sigh contentedly.

"Okay," says Jodie, "why don't we make some hot chocolate?"

"Great!" says Jeff.

"HOT CHOCOLATE? HOT CHOCOLATE!" bellows Sam. "That's how this mess all started. If this sloppy mouse had been a little more careful..."

Jodie interrupts his tirade. "How about a nice cup of tea?"

Sam calms down. "That's a good idea," he says. Jodie, Jeff, and Sam head out, but Muffy lags behind. Jeff notices her and comes back.

"Muffy, don't you want anything nice and hot to drink?"

The little mouse sighs. "Oh, Sam's so angry at little me. Perhaps some other time for tea."

"Aw, Muff," says Jeff. "Come here." He bends down to her level and holds her hand. "Don't let Sam bother you like that. You know he's so proud of his job as security guard here and he takes responsibility for the store and for us so seriously. That's why he's so upset about the computer, and, you know, the heat not working."

"Jeff, I know what you say is true but I wish he'd see I feel badly, too!"

"Aw, I'm sure he will. When he stops to think about it. You have to be patient. You know Sam doesn't stay angry for very long." Then he adds gently, "Come on, Jodie will be waiting for us."

In the Children's Department again, Jodie is handing out hot drinks. Jeff gets hot chocolate, while Sam gets a cup of tea. She offers Muffy some hot chocolate, too, but Muffy refuses. "Thank you kindly, thanks for the thought, but I really think I'd better not."

"That's right Muffy, you'd better not," says Sam. "You might spill it all over the counter here." Jodie encourages her to have something to warm her. Sam gets ready to drink his tea, and spills it all over the counter. Embarrassed, Sam sputters out apologies as Jodie and Jeff wipe up the spill.

"That's all right, Sam," Jodie says, and then adds meaningfully, "It really could have happened to anyone."

Muffy says, "Spilling things is easy to do. I know myself and now you know, too."

But if Jodie and Muffy were hoping this would make Sam more understanding, they are soon disappointed.

"Yeah, well, but I didn't spill hot chocolate on TXL! This was just tea and... you made the store cold!"

Muffy opens her mouth in shock.

Jodie has had enough. "Sam, it really doesn't matter who spilled what where. Sam, do you want more tea?"

Sam declines and decides to check on TXL." Muffy volunteers to go in case he needs her. "Besides," she adds, "I'm very good company!"

"You stay right where you are. You're very careless company. I don't want you anywhere near TXL."

A dejected Muffy stays behind.

In the Computer Room, Sam is on the computer trying out keys.

"Parts of me are working," TXL says, "but I still can't turn the heat on."

Sam is bundled up with a blanket over his shoulders, but he is still shivering. "Puckering penguins, it's like the Arctic in here," he says. "I sure don't like the cold, TX!"

"Oh, that's not true, Mr. Crenshaw. I happen to know there are lots of things you like to do in the winter when it's cold.

"Oh, yeah?" Sam counters.

"I'll show you," she says.

"Why don't you show me something to do when it's warm?"

"As you wish," says TXL. Singing to the tune of the "Think Warm" song, TXL first shows pictures of people ice skating, sledding, and playing in the cold. "Wintertime! Wintertime! Oooooooooh, it's cold." Next she shows people at the beach, the playground, and in the pool, and sings "Summertime! Summertime! Oooooooooh, it's warm."

Back in the Children's Department, Jodie and Jeff are running in place. Muffy, behind the counter, is jogging, too. Jodie invites Sam to join them, but he says his legs aren't what they used to be and they stiffen up in the cold.

Jeff says maybe he could just swing his arms. Then he and Jodie do a simple dance. Jeff sings "Swing your arms, touch your toes, run on the spot, that's the way this dance goes." He turns to us, "Say, if you want to warm up, why don't you get up and dance?" They swing their arms, touch their toes, jump up and down, and then dance freestyle. Pretty soon, Sam is joining in, jumping up and down. When they're done, Jeff and Jodie pull off their warm scarves. Jodie uses hers to dab at the perspiration on her face. Muffy is warmer, too. "My forehead is wet. That's more exercise than I ever get."

But Sam has his head in his hands.

"Sam are you all right?" asks Jeff,

Sam says he's all right, but he's feeling the arthritis in his legs, so he'd better go and sit down a while.

"Arthritis?" Jeff asks Jodie, "What's arthritis?"

"Arthritis is a soreness that some people get in their arms and legs. Sam gets it in his legs when it's cold."

Muffy is upset. "Oh! The computer is sticky, everyone's cold as can be! I just can't go on, Sam will never forgive me!"

Jeff reaches for her hand. "Aw," he says, "don't feel too badly. Sam's just miserable because he's too cold right now."

Jodie adds that when people don't feel well they're not as understanding as usual.

"Oh, I just wish there was something I could do to warm Sam up and make him like me, too," Muffy says sadly.

Sam is sitting, head in hand, on the step in front of the display case. Jodie suggests they get some blankets to warm Sam up.

Later, Jeff, Jodie, Muffy, and Sam are sitting, bundled up in blankets, on the steps next to the display case. Jodie says it reminds her of when she was a Girl Scout and camping. They would all bundle up in blankets and sit by the fire and tell stories.

"What kind of stories?" asks Jeff.

"Well, we'd just make them up," Jodie says. "Somebody would start, and we'd go around in a circle and each person would add a bit."

Sam says he would do that at sea, too, that when the weather was bad, it took their minds off being afraid. Or being seasick.

"Why don't we do that now? Jeff says. "It will take our minds off being cold."

"That's all right, yeah!" says Jodie. "Who would like to start? Muffy, how about you?"

"Oh, dear, I don't think I should. I don't know what to say? How does one start this story game? I'll just watch the rest of you play."

"Aw, come on Muffy," Sam says. "You may be sloppy, but I"ve never seen you be shy before."

At this jab, Jeff rolls his eyes. Muffy begins anyway.

"If' it's all right with you, I'll start off in rhyme. The way most fairy tales begin, once upon a time. There lived a tiny little mouse..."

Sam says, "Yeah, I might have known..."

The mouse's name was Albert Brown. vHe had a friend named Ross McGee, his very best friend in town."

Jodie goes next. "Like all mice, Albert and Ross both loved cheese. Albert especially loved imported French camembert."

"What cheese is that? Camembert? It must be something very rare."

Sam hushes Muffy.

Jodie continues, "Well, one day, Ross went to visit Albert and he saw a large piece of Camembert sitting on the table. Well, personally, Ross thought it was kind of runny, and not what he would have chosen, but he was kind of curious to smell it." Jodie looks at Jeff, who stares off into space. Jodie nudges him and tells him it's his turn.

"Oh!" says Jeff. "Well, when Ross sniffed the camembert cheese, he accidentally knocked it on the floor. This was a problem, because Albert lived in a tree trunk, and the floor was covered with leaves and dirt. Well, the cheese was ruined!"

Sam jumps in, "My, turn, my turn! 'TAP DANCING TUNA FISH!!' screamed Albert. 'Look what you done to my cheese. Ha! Some friend you are! Boy.'"

Muffy is next. "Ross was too upset to speak. He didn't know what to say. Except, 'I'm sorry, I really am, and then he ran away!'"

Jodie follows, "But Albert didn't care that Ross was upset. He was too worried about his cheese lying on the floor."

Jeff picks up, "And it was a mess, too. Gosh, it had all the bits of bark and the leaves and the sticks from the floor and the soft part was all runny and oozing all over, and you couldn't even it eat it. It was just awful, and just makes me sick..." The others begin reacting with horror at Jeff's continuing description.

Finally, Jodie says, "Okay, Jeff! Come on! I think we get the general idea." She makes a face.

Jeff says, "Okay. Sam!"

Sam continues, "Well, now that the cheese was ruined, of course Albert was very hungry. And when he got hungry, he got grumpy."

In an aside, Sam says, "Some people, when they get hungry - or, when they're cold - they kinda get grumpy."

"Mmmhmm," Muffy says meaningfully. "Ross was upset to see his friend so grumpy and forlorn. And he tried very hard to make things up, but his apologies were scorned. He sat right down beside the tree, and cried and cried and cried. Not for the cheese or for himself, but for the friendship that had died."

Jodie begins to take her turn but Sam interrupts.

"Gosh, that's very sad. Poor little mouse. You know he didn't mean to knock over the cheese anyway."

Jodie says gently, "Well, when Albert saw that Ross was crying - he apologized to him. He realized he had been unkind and unfair."

Everyone stops talking for a moment.

"Well, that was the right thing to do," says Jeff. "Apologize."

Sam muses, "Sure was."

Jodie nudges Jeff again to remind him it is his turn in the story.

"So Albert and Ross went back to the house, and instead of having a big fancy camembert cheese dinner, they had a plain, hard, homemade cheese dinner. And they had a good time too, and, well it just goes to show that when you're friends..."

"Uh-huh," says Jodie, "really and truly friends..."

"They don't let smelly old cheese..." Jeff says,

"Or sticky old marshmallows..." Jodie adds.

"Get in the way of their friendship," Jeff concludes.

Jodie and Jeff leave to get more blankets and leave Sam and Muffy alone.

"That was quite a story, wasn't it, Muffy?" asks Sam.

"Yes, it was good, but also sad. Although the ending wasn't bad."

"I guess I've been a little bit like Albert, haven't I? I guess I'm sorry, Muffy." He explains that he has been so upset about TXL's not working, the cold weather, and his legs' aching. "I know that spilling the hot chocolate was just an accident. Do you forgive me for being so unfair, Muffy?"

"Oh, Sam! Oh, Sam! Of course I do! When we're not friends, I miss you."

"Aw Muffy!" says Sam, and they share a hug. "Come on! Let's go and see if TXL has any news for us."

Back in the Computer Room, TXL says that she hasn't been able to turn on the heat herself. Sam is shivering from cold while she says he just has to find a way to clean the mess off the keys.

Just then, Muffy pops up. "Sam, Sam, I've got just the thing! Look what I have thought to bring." It's a tiny toothbrush - small enough to clean between the keys. Muffy gets to work scrubbing away. Sam explains that his fingers were too big to clean it.

"Mmmmm," says TXL, "that feels much better!"

Sam reaches past Muffy to push the key. "Ah, the heat key is movin', TX!"

"Quick! Quick! Press that key for heat," says Muffy. "I'm tired of being cold and wearing socks on my feet!"

Sam pushes the button. TXL's blue screen turns red.

"All right, TX, is the heat working now?" asks Sam.

"Yes sir! And the store will be warm in no time."

Sam rips his ski cap off his head, tosses it in the air and shouts, "Hooray!" Then Sam and Muffy rush off to tell Jodie and Jeff.

The mime is taking her sweater off, and dabbing at her face as if to wipe off perspiration, and she's fanning herself. How does she feel? Hot or cold? Hot, of course, so she turns down the heat.

Jeff and Jodie have already noticed by looking at the thermometer that the store is warm again. They're glad to see (and feel) it. Jeff says, "It's the first time I've ever been cold, and I didn't like it at all!"

Sam and Muffy come in, and Sam proudly announces that Muffy is "our little heroine with the tiny toothbrush!" He then explains, "She's got TXL working like new!"

"Ah, we've been saved by Mighty Mouse!" says Jeff and they all give three cheers for Muffy.

Muffy says humbly, "Well, after the trouble I've caused all of you, fixing up things was the least I could do."

Jodie is hoping that now she can get some work done, but just then the lights go out! They can't see anything, and Jeff steps on Muffy's toe. The electricity is off.

"What are we gonna do, Sam?" Jeff asks.

"Come on, everybody we're all in this together," Jodie reminds them. "We can make the best of it!"

"Sure we can, let's tell stories!" says Sam.


  • If you were cold, and you wanted something to eat, would you eat some soup, a sandwich, or an apple? (The Mime Lady points to the soup.) "Right!" says TXL. But then the Mime Lady pulls the sandwich and the apple over to her, too. She's going to eat it all! "Do you know why?" TXL asks us. The Mime Lady rubs her stomach. "Right!" says TXL, "Because she's hungry!"
  • If it's warm outside, what would you wear? A sweater and long pants? A T-shirt with shorts? A big heavy coat?
  • Which house is different? (The one with smoke coming out of the chimney.) Do you know what's inside that's making the smoke?
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