Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Dancing Cow (Mary Poppins)

After I finish a complex painting, I usually paint a cow next.  I guess it's just a comfortable subject for me.  As I was working on this pretty red mama cow, she reminded me of something... or someone... a flicker of a memory that I couldn't put my finger on until she was almost finished.

When I was a kid I loved getting to order books from the Weekly Reader forms each month.  I still have a few of those that I loved the most.  I think I ordered and read Mary Poppins when I was in fourth grade... (the first time when I was 10... although I've been in fourth grade - on the other side of the teacher's desk -  about 30 times since :)

Mary Poppins... the book, not the movie... is filled with chapter after chapter of completely wonderful, crazy, irrational, zany, clever stories that somehow tie together perfectly.

Chapter Five - "The Dancing Cow" 
Jane is sick in bed, and John is watching out the window when he sees a red cow walking down Cherry Tree Lane.  Mary Poppins explains that The Red Cow was a friend of her mother.  She tells the story: The Red Cow was raising The Red Calf in her perfectly normal field. One evening she began dancing and couldn't stop.   Eventually she went to see the king who noticed a star had fallen and become caught on her horn.  He advised her to jump over the moon. It worked, but then she wished she had it back.  The Red Cow now spends the her days looking for another star.

Like every other chapter, it's filled with all sorts of details... the lessons she teaches The Red Calf... the types of dances the cow does... the king who has an appointment with the barber...

I came across a blog post from Random Thoughts who asked whether The Red Cow's story was optimistic or pessimistic? She never gave up hope of finding another star, but she roamed the streets never feeling satisfied without it.

Any thoughts?

Original Oil Painting - 16"x 16" 


  1. No thoughts since I've only seen the movie and never read the book. But I did want to say I was singing "Let's Go Fly A Kite" today with Ava while the wind was blowing wildly outside! Then I came in and saw your cow in my feed. Lovely.

    1. Oh, you must read Mary Poppins. The movie is just a sliver of the whole story!

  2. Oh man, Weekly Readrs, almost forgot,about them. Love cows too. Super eyes and expression

    1. Thanks, eyes are key, aren't they! I try to give all my cows an attitude or expression!