A Story by jen -- JG

I've heard the saying - Bull in a china shop - what happens if a cow gets in a supermarket?




A short story




"Oh my God – LOOK! There’s a cow in the shop!"


"Where?" Oh Golly so there is! What do we do now?" The checkout chicks giggled and milled in amazed delight, mixed with more than a little fear. They were at a loss as to what to do about this. The closest they’d been to cows had been looking at them in the paddocks down the road.


Then they had a brilliant idea.


They’d do nothing! The store was not usually busy on this day of the week, and Mr Roberts, the store manager, wasn’t coming in until about noon, so they’d just pretend the cow wasn’t there, and see what happened. Besides, maybe one of their customers would know how to get the cow out of the store.


Julie Carson had just returned from a week’s holiday on a farm, and although she didn’t have a lot to do with cows there, she felt she knew enough to at least keep the girls calm. So she smiled at her workmates and said, "I’ll keep an eye on her if you like, she may take a fancy to the Vegie tops."


"Good idea!" the others chorused, very glad the problem of having a cow in the shop was no longer theirs. After all, Julie was head girl and in charge when Mr Roberts was absent. She would be responsible if anything went wrong.


Julie walked up to the cow and although she shook with fear at the size and length of the horns, she put on a brave front.


"Good morning Bessie. Want to look around?" Julie asked with a smile.




"OH, I see. You like our store do you?"




"Come on then, " and Bessie walked quietly behind Julie as they explored the store together. They hadn’t gone very far when Julie was called to the phone. She did ask the other girls to keep an eye on the cow, but they were too scared to go any closer.


Around 11am the shop became busy and the Bessie was out of sight, or so the checkout chicks thought. Bessie wandered into the back storeroom and was busy nuzzling large boxes, when she heard the sound of rushing footsteps, and lots of human voices. She wasn't at all worried, because she knew she would be safe. After all, humans were just like cows, weren’t they? Well, they did walk on two legs and sometimes did strange things, but they were friendly, weren’t they?


Julie had been working at the front counter and there was a line of customers waiting at each checkout. "Gosh, we haven’t been this busy since last Christmas sales," she thought. She hadn't had time to even think about the cow being in the shop, but now, she wondered about Bessie and hoped she’d found her way out through the back of the shop.


"MY GOD! IT’S A COW!" The scream electrified everyone. "A COW! It’s staring at the butter!"


Children rushed to the freezer section and sure enough – there it was – a real live cow.


A couple of ten year old lads, a bit braver than the rest, went straight up to Bessie and began to gently pat her side. Bessie nuzzled the youngsters and gave them a slurping lick with her long rough tongue.


"Oohhhhh, that tickles" the boys giggled.


"Get out of that, SHOO – SSSHHHOOOOOO" cried angry mothers, thinking that the cow was tasting their children with a view to a hearty meal.  After all, they'd eaten steak for dinner last night?


"Mmmmmoooooooooooo," Bessie’s long drawn out bellow sent customers scuttling for cover, and in total agreement they left Bessie to her own devices. She wandered around freely now, although after a short time of peeping around corners to see what she was doing, the customers realised Bessie wasn’t on the rampage and continued their shopping, with one eye well and truly watchful of Bessie’s movements.


In fact a couple of people tried to engage her in polite conversation, "Good morning, Mrs Cow! How do you like shopping here?"


Bessie replied with a soft "mmmoooooooo" before continuing with a steady gait along to the next aisle.


Now Bessie wasn’t exactly stupid. She saw she was the only one not pushing one of those silly looking wire boxes on wheels around. When she found one with a few things in it and no one nearby, she stuck her neck over the bar and pushed it in front of her, thinking, "Now, I'm just like everyone else, no one will think I’m different."


"Hey, will you look at that!" shouted an excited customer, almost choking with laughter. "That dratted cow thinks she’s human!"


"Well, I’ll be.." spluttered an elderly man, scratching his thinning hair in amazement. "So that’s where my trolley went! Alright Mrs Cow, you can have it," and off he went to find another trolley and begin his shopping again.


Bessie watched as customer after customer went through narrow gates – almost like those in her milking shed, but this was certainly a lot different.


First the humans pushed the silly box on wheels through the gate, then they stood inside the gates and even when they jiggled around a lot, they didn’t get their legs tied.


"Now that IS clever" thought Bessie, "I wonder if I could do that?" Before she could try, her attention was caught by what she thought was an old friend. Sure, there it was,  a face she knew. She nuzzled up to it and -- the face fell down.


Her agonised "MMMMMOOOO!" shocked the customers and they ran to see what was wrong.

A pile of powdered milk boxes with pictures of cows on the side had fallen to the floor and Bessie was nuzzling at them.


"Poor sod!" someone muttered, "She thinks there are cows in those boxes."


"Sure looks like it, maybe we’d better get here away from here before she does more damage. I wonder if she like greens?"


Bessie turned her head and rumbled deep in her throat. "Did that human say greens?"


A delighted customer chuckled, "Look at that, I think she understands. Isn’t that amazing?"


"Moo!" Bessie shook her head and thought, "What do they think I am, some dumb animal? Of course I understand. Where can I find those greens anyway, they have to be here somewhere." Then following the thought, she turned and with a loud snort lumbered away.


Determined to find something to eat she broke into a trot and almost skidded around the corner -  and there it was! Rows of delicious green food. About time too, her udder was that full, it was beginning to hurt. Her eyes focused on one of her favourite treats and with a soft-contented "mmmoooooooo" she began munching.


This wasn’t anything like being in her milking stall, but would some one please come and empty her milk sack?


No one did!


Soon another memory struck her. "Of course, I’m in the wrong place!" So she grabbed another mouthful of green tops and trotted off to where the humans milled and waited. She found an empty gate and pushed her head and front end through, then startled everyone with a loud and demanding "MMMMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOO."


"Oh my Lord!" Julie groaned aloud, then she giggled, "She’s waiting to be milked!"


The checkout chicks were scared, "Gosh, what do we do now, Mr Roberts will be here soon."


"Mr Roberts is here now" a male voice interrupted. "Will someone tell me what is going on ?"


"Mr Rrrooberts, It’s the ccow, she’s umm er ummm waiting tto be mmilked," stuttered Julie as she twisted her apron nervously with trembling fingers.


"OH! I see, well you’d better get on with it then, hadn’t you? You know our policy here, the customer is always right!"


"But, I don’t know how!"


"Oh, for Pete’s sake. Go on then, get a couple of buckets and bring them here."


A mad rush soon produced two hard buckets, and with a gentle "Hello, old girl" he upturned one of the buckets to sit on, and placed the other beneath Bessie’s straining udder. Then he leaned his head against her flank and crooned softly as his expert fingers soon had streams of rich creamy milk jetting into the bucket he held locked between his knees.


Staff and customers stood in silent awe, and the only sounds heard were the steady ‘swish swish’ of milk jetting into the bucket, and the contented ‘chomp chomp’ as Bessie chewed her cud. Her tail swished gently, but she stood perfectly still. "mmmmmmmooooooooooooooooo" the contented sound brought happy smiles to those still watching, and,  as the last creamy drops were stripped down into the bucket, Bessie turned her head with a soft questioning "mmooooo?"


"Ok, old girl. You’ve paid well for whatever you may have eaten. Off you go." Mr Roberts rose and after sending Julie to collect a supply of paper cups, offered the warm sweet milk to the customers. The children, who had been hiding behind parent’s legs and skirts till now, came forward and tasted milk taken straight from a cow for the very first time. They always thought milk came in bottles and cartons, but now they knew differently and loved the taste of ‘real milk’


Bessie walked sedately out the front door of the shop, quite oblivious to the startled stares and suppressed giggles at the absurd sight of a cow emerging from the portals of the local supermarket.



ã Copyright jen-JG October 1988


© 2008 jen -- JG

Author's Note

jen -- JG
Anything you wish to say - honesty is good

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A very cute story! If it is alright I would love to send it to my grandson (He's nine years old and a city boy). I remember when his Dad was about eight years old and asking me if the eggs we were buying were store eggs or chicken eggs.

Posted 12 Years Ago

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A very entertaining story. Gave me a good chuckle. In the third paragraph should have used "an" instead of "and" in the last sentence.
Enjoyed the story.

Posted 12 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on September 11, 2008
Last Updated on November 14, 2008


jen -- JG
jen -- JG

Melbourne, Australia

I enjoy reading, writing and watching movies. There are two adorable cats in our household who give us much pleasure. i enjoy writing poetry of most kinds, rhyme - open verse - and often anything a.. more..