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The Blue Cow

Jeff, Sam and Muffy are enjoying reading a book so much that they barely notice Jodie when she comes in and tells them she's looking for a book she needs for her book display. She thinks the book they're reading is it and picks it up, but notices, just as she is about to walk away, that it's not the right one.

"Wait a second. This book isn't part of my display, where'd it come from?"

Jeff tells her they found it on the counter with a note:

"Dear Everyone, Would you please take care of this book for me just til tomorrow, signed Waldo." On the back of the note there's a P.S.: "They're redecorating my house and this book is particularly sensitive to paint fumes."

Jodie is incredulous. "A book that doesn't like the smell of fresh paint - Oh that's the most ridiculous thing I ever heard!"

"That's what we thought until we read the book," says Jeff.

"It's all about the cow that's blue who's in Waldo's magical revue," says Muffy.

"And we think the cow stays in the book when it's not busy with Waldo's magic show," says Jeff. "The cow's name is Emily, Jodie. Hey! Maybe it'll come and visit us, eh?" He begins calling, "Emily! Emily, why don't you come out and say hello, Emily!"

Jodie is very doubtful. "You don't really believe that a blue cow is coming to the store, do you?"

The others nod rather sheepishly.

Jodie says the cow is magical, so it can't come out unless Waldo is there to cast a spell. Everyone is deeply disappointed at this logical conclusion and they slink off, crestfallen.

"A blue cow coming to the store?" says Jodie, now left alone. "Boy, some people will believe anything!"

Nevertheless, as soon as she leaves, the cow appears.

Sam comes in shortly afterward, singing, "Singin' yo he ho, got a donut for my chow, singin' yo he ho, I just saw a big blue cow." Then he realizes what he has just said. "Big blue cow! I did! I did just see a big blue cow!" He excitedly calls Muffy.

"Sam!" Muffy says, "This is really wondrous. The big blue cow came to visit us."

They say hello and Emily licks Sam's face in greeting and then grabs and eats his donut. Then she strolls through the room, humming, and knocks over Jodie's display in the process. When Jeff and Jodie come in and Jodie sees her ruined display, she doesn't believe Muffy and Sam's explanation.

"How many times do I have to tell you guys there is no blue cow in the store." She decides to break it down for them. "There is no blue cow over there," she says, pointing to the right. "There is no blue cow over there," she says next, pointing straight ahead. Meanwhile, Emily comes up behind them, startling Jeff. "And there is no blue cow over th-" Jodie continues, and then her arm hits Emily.

Jodie's mouth is wide open in surprise. "Is there a blue cow standing over there? It really is blue? Nah! I must be dreaming."

But she's not. The cow is really there. Worried that they might startle her again, everyone decides to sing the song "The Blue Cow" to make her feel at home. She dances with them and moos to the melody.

After the song, Sam forgives Emily for taking his donut. He has another one, but before he can finish explaining how Emily won't get this one, Emily grabs it and runs off, knocking over another part of Jodie's display.

"Oh! The cow is too big. She's gonna knock over every display in the store!" moans Jodie.

"Now don't worry, Jodie," says Jeff. "I'll - I'll take care of her. Now I'll teach Emily not to do any more damage."

"Okay, Jeff. You are in charge of that blue cow." Jodie agrees.

Jeff tries to look confident as he goes after her.

In the stockroom, Mrs. Pennypacker is playing with a balloon. The cow passes by. "Just a moment," she calls, "Come back here! Oh! My goodness, I haven't seen many of you before. Imagine! A blue horse!"

"Moo!" says Emily.

"Stranger yet, a horse that moos!" says a confused Mrs. Pennypacker.

Jeff comes in. "There you are Emily!" he says, petting her. "Well, what do you think of our blue cow, Mrs. Pennypacker?"

"Cow! Jeffrey are you telling me this isn't a horse?" She turns to Emily. "Oh, oh, that wasn't very nice of you! You should have told me you were a cow."

Emily shakes her head in disbelief.

"And do you know what else, Mrs. Pennypacker? I'm in charge of taking care of Emily, and of sort of teaching her how to behave in the store. Well, see, I have this collar and leash, so we can go for walks."

"Well, I think everybody should have a pet. But wouldn't goldfish be more suitable?"

"Emily is not a pet Mrs. Pennypacker. You see, this blue cow is a magical blue cow. She lives in Waldo's magic book. You see, Waldo asked us to take care of her until tomorrow, and, well, as long as Emily's in the store, I'm the boss!" Jeff explains, full of pride. "Come on, Emily, let's go for a walk."

He attempts to lead her off using the leash, but she resists and refuses to move.

Clueless as usual, Mrs. Pennypacker says, "I'm sure glad Jeffrey has everything under control." After Emily has dragged Jeff in the opposite direction from the way he wanted to go, she says, "He has such a way with animals."

Jeff is still trying to get Emily to go where he wants her to, but it's not going well. She pretty much does what she wants. When Jeff pleads with her, she finally does what he asks. Then he tells her he's going to teach her to look both ways so as not to bump into anything. They look to the right, but when Jeff looks to the left, he gets a face full of cow tongue.

This makes him angry. "You're a very bad, bad, bad cow!" he says. Emily sulks, and Jeff is immediately sorry. He kneels before her to apologize, and Emily swipes his hat. Fortunately, before she can eat it, Jodie comes along and sees what's happening. She asks for the hat but Emily won't hand it over, so a tug of war begins. Jodie finally recovers the hat, intact.

When Jeff is back to life again, he's pretty unhappy with how things are going with Emily. "Jodie, I guess I'm not a very good trainer of cows. Oh, boy!" He sits down on the floor. Jodie comes and sits beside him. "You see," he continues, I just can't get angry at her."

"But Jeff, being firm is not really the same as being angry." Jodie explains. She explains that sometimes being firm is for an animal's own good, though you would never hurt it or get nasty with it. "But you have to be the boss, Jeff."

"It is not easy to be in charge, when you just want to laugh and have fun," she sings, "But Emily is so large that some training just has to be done. She needs to learn to listen, she mustn't disobey,"

"I must convince this cow that I mean whatever I say," sings Jeff.

"Right! So be the boss!" Jodie encourages him. In song and dance, Jodie helps Jeff to get Emily to come when called.

"You say (Jeff: 'Do') and the cow goes (Emily: 'moo,') and that's how to be the boss, yes you'll be the boss, yes you'll be the boss right now, yes you'll be the boss right now."

Jeff is filled again with enthusiasm. "Okay, Jodie, from now on, I'll be the boss! Okay. Emily, let's go for a walk." he says firmly. Emily comes promptly. "Good, Emily. Now we can have some good times together."

Muffy pops up and asks Jeff to have some tea and play a game. Jeff tells her he has to take Emily for a walk around the store.

Muffy objects. "But you always like to play and you play with me every day!"

"Well, I know, Muffy, but, well, today is special. The blue cow is here and I'm in charge! I have responsibility," Jeff says the word as if it tastes good. "Now watch Emily obey me." he says. "Walk, Emily, but slowly." At first she obeys, but then she speeds up, spins around and walks right into Jodie's display.

"Oh! That cow!" wails Jodie. "Oh, Muffy, I think it's time she learned some manners."

"And cows should never come between me and my friend Jeff. That's mean!"

"Oh, Muffy, no, you and Jeff are still good friends. Well, he's just excited because he's never had an animal to take care of before."

"Oh, and just because I'm not all blue, Jeff doesn't care, oh, boo hoo hoo!" Muffy cries and runs off. Sam comes in and wonders what's wrong.

"Well, Muffy's upset because Jeff's so busy with the blue cow that he's ignoring her so her feelings are hurt. And I'm upset because that blue cow keeps knocking down my display! Waldo should have warned us about the cow coming to the store!"

Sam doesn't see it that way. "We should all be happy that the blue cow came to the store. Why it's not every day that a blue cow comes to visit us here."

"Yeah," says Jodie. "I guess you're right Sam. Maybe I could be more understanding."

"Yeah, of course, you could, then again, it isn't every day that we have a - hey!" Emily comes up behind Sam and nabs his donut. "Hey! Hey you gimme that donut!" he cries. Then he turns back to Jodie. "Then again on the other hand, Jodie, sometimes blue cows can be a real nuisance."

Meanwhile, Muffy has gotten it into her head that Jeff likes Emily because she's blue, so she's sewing herself a new outfit. "If Jeff thinks that cow is cute, just wait until he sees this suit! If it's fun to know a cow that's blue, then a purple mouse will be fun, too. And when Jeff sees me dressed in this, our friendship he will not dismiss."

In the children's department, Jodie is setting up her display table once again. Emily comes lumbering in. "Oh, my! Stop!" says Jodie. "Now, be careful!" Emily sidesteps the table. "Hey, good girl, Emily, see you can do it if you try."

Then Muffy pops up in a very pretty purple suit and hat. "It's me, Muffy, all purply!" she says loudly.

This startles Emily, who runs away, knocking over Jodie's display. Jeff comes in carrying Emily's leash. Again Muffy shows off her suit, but Jeff doesn't say anything but, "Have you seen Emily?"

Jodie heaves a deep sigh. "That way, Jeff!" she says, pointing.

Jeff finally notices Muffy. "Why are you all dressed up? You look so - uh, purple!"

"I guess this purple didn't do." says Muffy, "Maybe I should try a yellow hue."

Later, in the stockroom, Mrs. Pennypacker accidentally pulls a bunch of boxes on top of her while trying to get to a hat box." Emily comes in with Jeff close behind, telling her it was not nice of her to run away.

"Jeffrey!" calls Mrs. Pennypacker from under the boxes. Jeff thinks Emily is talking.

"What did you say?" he asks the cow.

"Jeffrey, is that you?"

"Now, that's funny," Jeff says, "The blue cow sounds exactly like Mrs. Pennypacker."

The blue cow moos meaningfully.

"That was Mrs. Pennypacker? Mrs. Pennypacker where are you?"

"Oh, under all these boxes, Jeffrey!" she calls to him. Jeff begins digging her out, but he accidentally knocks off his hat. Mrs. Pennypacker can't see him and doesn't know where he's gone.

"Moo! Moo!" cries an alarmed Emily.

Back in the children's department, a hungry Sam, a jealous Muffy and a frustrated Jodie discuss the problem of Emily. Jodie acknowledges that she's very nice, but she's just too big for the store. "I think we're going to have to ask her to leave."

"I just hope, next time she comes visiting that she eats first." says Sam ruefully.

Emily comes in holding Jeff's hat. At first Jodie thinks she took it, but Emily shakes her head no. "Is Jeff all right?"

Emily shakes her head again.

"Is he in trouble?"

She nods, and then she jumps up and down to indicate that she can show them where he is.

The gang rushes down and finds Jeff, but there doesn't seem to be any trouble.

Mrs. Pennypacker calls, "Is someone out there?"

"Oh, my goodness," says Sam, "his voice is starting to sound like Mrs. Pennypacker's!" He has apparently forgotten Jeff's hat is off.

"Yoo hoo! Is anybody there?" Mrs. Pennypacker says again.

"Yes, gosh, it's amazing," says the befuddled Sam, "You can't even see his lips moving."

Jodie and Muffy know Mrs. Pennypacker must be nearby so they call to her and ask where she is.

"Under these boxes. Jeff was rescuing me but then he went away."

"Oh, no he didn't, Mrs. Pennypacker, his hat fell off." They put his hat on, say the magic words and get Mrs. Pennypacker out from under the boxes. Meanwhile, Emily walks away.

Mrs. Pennypacker is no worse for the wear. "Oh, my goodness that was exciting! It reminds me of the time the Duchess and I were caught in an avalanche while on a skiing holiday!" She laughs. "But I'd like to thank you all for rescuing me."

"Well, Mrs. Pennypacker you don't have to thank us. You should thank the blue cow," says Jeff. "She's the one who found you."

"Yeah," adds Jodie, "and she brought us Jeff's hat so that we'd know something was wrong."

"Regrettin' raccoons, now I feel so silly after all that complainin' I did about the blue cow." Sam says.

"Oh, well, I've been selfish too, I realize," says Muffy, "and I think I should apologize."

"Me, too," says Jodie. "Gee, without the blue cow, who knows what would've happened. Where is the blue cow? She was right here just a minute ago."

They look around, but she's gone.

"Gee, do you think she heard us say that we wanted her to go away?" Muffy suggests.

Mrs. Pennypacker encourages them to find her quickly, she'll look after the boxes. So they all rush out. When they've gone, she looks at us and says, "Hmm. Well, I really hope they've all learned something from this experience. When a wonderful, magical blue cow comes for a visit, you shouldn't spend your time worrying about displays and donuts and who's playing with whom. It just proves that old saying: 'Never look a gift in the mouth.' Oh, maybe I should say 'cow' considering the circumstances." She giggles.

When they get to the children's department, Emily's already back in the book. It's too late even to say thank you.

Muffy apologizes to Jeff for her jealousy. Jeff is willing to forgive, of course.

"Oh, Jeff, you were having such a good time with Emily, and well, we spoiled it all by chasing her away." Jodie says.

"Yeah, I really wish she'd come back, Jeff. Why if she did, I'd even give her my donut here," adds Sam.

That does it. Pop! Emily's back and grabbing the donut. "Gimme that donut!" Sam shouts, forgetting his pledge. "I mighta known a donut would do the trick. At least we know she's not mad at us, now."

Jodie rushes over to protect her display, but then she says, "Emily, you can come and visit us in the store any time you like," and she rubs her head affectionately.

"Yeah, but just as long as you remember who's the boss!" says Jeff firmly.

Her reply? Emily slathers his face with her tongue and everyone laughs. Then everyone sings "The Blue Cow" together one last time.


  • Muffy shows us a cartoon of a cow and asks what the cow does that mice like. They make milk, and milk makes cheese, she explains. "And that's why mice think cows are nice." A photograph of a cow with an animated mouth asks, "I wonder if cows like mice?" Another cartoon provides the answer, showing a mouse running through the grass and three frightened cows up on the fence trying to avoid it.
  • What animal do you think this man is training? (The animated man is dressed in red, has a big top hat, and is holding up a chair). He's a lion trainer. Four lions appear atop nearby stands, and TXL says they all seem well trained. Then one appears on top of the chair the man is holding, growling menacingly. "Except this one," says TXL. The lion trainer runs off. Then the lion gives us a big, sheepish smile.
  • What's wrong with this picture? (There's a dog in a bird cage, budgies in a fish tank, and a man taking a fish for a walk). Once the oddities are corrected, the "man" turns around and it turns out, he's an animal too. (I'm not sure what kind).
  • Hidden in this picture is a blue cow and some of her friends. A red hippo, a green giraffe, and an orange monkey. (They are very difficult to spot). Once TXL points them out, three normal cartoon animals ask, "Who ever heard of an orange monkey, a green giraffe, or a red hippo?" "We have!" answer a crazy quilt of animal friends.

Nursery Rhyme:

  • None


  • It's really odd how Jodie refuses to believe that the blue cow might visit the store, even though she acknowledges that there really is a magical cow. After all, she's talking to a walking mannequin and a talking mouse!
  • Emily is played by Nikki Tilroe, the mime lady, one of a handful of other roles she has played through the years. Most cow costumes need two people, but Emily's back legs were attached to the suit and simply bounced along behind her, while the front two legs moved normally when she walked. Apparently, Emily's tongue was controlled by Nikki Tilroe's hand, enabling her to grab donuts and Jeff's hat with ease.
  • The choreography used for "The Blue Cow" number was borrowed from the Today's Special stage show done in 1985 and shown in "Live on Stage."
  • Mrs. Pennypacker, in mistaking Emily for a horse, hasn't been that befuddled about an animal since she mistook Muffy for a cat in "Boxes and Boxes."
  • Right after Emily's first appearance, she makes her way, humming, through the children's department. On careful listening, I believe she is humming "Yo He Ho," which is what Sam was humming right before he spotted her.
  • Near the end Mrs. Pennypacker sums up Jodie, Sam and Muffy's complaints about the blue cow and explains that you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. There's only one problem. How did Mrs. Pennypacker even know about their complaints since she was in the stockroom for the whole episode and all the complaining went on upstairs? Also, while Sam's donut and Muffy's jealousy were minor issues, I think Jodie had a right to be concerned about her display.
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