The Purple Cow

by Laurie Bosley, 2003 copyright. All rights reserved.

Aaron was a cute little boy with blond hair and blue eyes. Most people would take one look at him and say, “Isn’t he just a little cutie.” Esther and I loved him dearly and agreed that he was a pretty good looking little fellow. The only time he didn’t look so cute to us was when we had to baby-sit him.

One night while mom and dad were out, Esther and I were stuck at home watching four year old Aaron. Being the thoughtful older sisters that we were, we came up with a plan to keep him in line. He never really misbehaved badly, but we thought it was important to have a plan in place just in case trouble started. Deciding that time outs were a little too ordinary, we came up with an ingenious idea that would keep Aaron in line for the entire evening.

With our parents gone, we sat Aaron down and said, “We don’t want any trouble out of you tonight.” He looked at us with his big blue eyes and said, “I’ll be a good boy.” Then with the skill of a master story teller, Esther continued, “We’re glad you are going to be good because we wouldn’t want the purple cow to come out tonight.” Aaron looked at us wide eyed and asked, “Who is the purple cow?” I explained, “The purple cow lives out in the oak tree by the driveway. If you are a bad boy, he comes out at night and poops on your head while you’re asleep.”

Poor little Aaron’s eyes really widened then. He looked frightened, but bravely asked us, “How does he know if I’ve been good or bad?” We said, “He knows everything. He is watching you all the time; even now.” With that, Aaron quickly looked around at all the windows seeing if he could get a glimpse of this mysterious observer.

We shook our heads at him and said, “You won’t be able to see him. He is too sneaky for most people to spot. But, believe us, he is real!” Seeing his terrified face, we knew we had a good thing going. Esther continued, “If you are really, really super bad, he has a phone in his tree and he’ll call his friends red cow, brown cow, and yellow cow. They’ll come over and poop on your head too.”

With that, Aaron sat frozen with fear in his chair. Mission accomplished. Esther and I gave each other a look of satisfaction knowing that our evening of babysitting would be – as of now – a piece of cake.

Aaron didn’t disappoint us that night. He was a very kind and helpful boy. He did as he was told and jumped at every chance he could to prove that he was well behaved. Even if he thought about misbehaving, all we had to do was take one look at the windows and any protest he had would slip away unsaid. Before he went to bed that night, we reassured him that the purple cow would not come because of his outstanding behavior.

This scare tactic continued to work for us in future babysitting jobs as well. At least it did until all the pressure of always behaving finally caught up to Aaron one evening. After crying out in his sleep one night, mom comforted him when he had a bad dream. Mom asked him what his dream was about. Aaron told her, “The purple cow came into my room and pooped on my head. I was so afraid!” She quickly reassured him and said, “There is no such thing as a purple cow sweetheart. So you don’t need to worry.” He shook his head and argued profusely that there was indeed a purple cow – and a brown cow, a red cow, and a yellow cow. Finally, confused she asked him, “Where did you get this silly idea?”

With his answer, the gig was up. Our names were given and as you can imagine, our days of easy babysitting came to an end. Our days of easy anything were over too because we both ended up being grounded for a very long time – and rightly so.

We all still tease Aaron, even to this day, about the purple cow. However, no one could laugh when one day while visiting his fiancés house, he found a stuffed purple cow in her closet. We couldn’t deny after this mooving experience, that they were truly made for each other. Now, married, they are udderly inseparable.