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Episode 1300

Air Date: April 13, 1973
Previous Episode: 1299
Next Episode: 1301
Purchase/Stream: Amazon

It's opera time in the Neighborhood and Mister Rogers opens the program by reading a storybook version of the opera's beginning -- Potato Bugs and Cows.

The opera gets underway with Priscilla the Cow (Lady Aberlin) singing a song about wanting to be something besides a cow. Horatio the Potato Bug (Chef Brockett) approaches Priscilla and when asked, expresses his clear excitement at being a groovy potato bug. He agrees to try and help turn Priscilla into a potato bug.

Priscilla's mother (Harriett Elizabeth Cow) is worried and calls for the farmer when she learns of Priscilla's plan. Meanwhile, Horatio has begun teaching Priscilla how to act like a potato bug when the farmer (Reardon) takes notice on his way to visit Priscilla's mother. Inside the barn, Farmer Reardon agrees to help Mrs. Cow who has grown more worried about her daughter.

Out in the barnyard, the farmer encourages Priscilla to be a groovy cow but she hold tightly to her desire to be a potato bug. Farmer Reardon calls King Clemmons (Francois Clemmons) to ask for some help while the farmer's wife (Lady Elaine Fairchilde) encouages him to let Priscilla just be herself.

King Clemmons arrives in the barnyard compliments of Yoshi Ito's plane and is taken to see Priscilla. Learning that Horatio is Priscilla's only friend, the King returns to his castle for Joe Bull (Joe Negri) -- a very groovy cow.

Back at the barnyard, Priscilla is about to leave the farm with her new friend, Idaho the Potato Bug (Miss Paulificate). The King returns with Joe Bull just in time to convince Priscilla that cows can be groovy and making her proud to be a cow. The opera concludes with a barnyard dance.

Mister Rogers concludes the story back at the house as he finishes the story book.


This episode is featured on the Musical Stories VHS release.

It is often suggested that this opera represents the first appearance of Harriett Elizabeth Cow when she actually first appeared in Episode 1274.

On Episode 114a of Donkey Hodie, Donkey and her friends perform The Cow and Potato Bug Opera -- a show with a similar name and theme.

Appearing In This Episode




Episode Credits

With Fred Rogers
Neighbors: Betty Aberlin, Don Brockett, Francois Clemmons, Yoshi Ito, Joe Negri, Audrey Roth, Bob Trow
With John Reardon
Written and Composed by Fred Rogers
Musical Arrangements by John Costa
Produced and Directed by Bob Walsh
Music Director: John Costa
Psychological Consultants: Margaret B. McFarland Ph.D., Albert V. Corrado M.D.
Associate Producers: Betsy Nadas, David Newell
Assistant Producer: Laura Perkins
Production Assistant: Azriel Gamliel
Art Director: Jack Guest
Assistant Art Director: David Smith
Lighting Director: Frank Warninsky
Floor Manager: Nick Tallo
Technical Supervisors: Tom Knight, Ken Anderson
Video Tape Editor: Chet Bednar
Cameramen: Bob Vaughn, David Anthony, Dick LaSota
Video: Don Williamson
Audio: Chuck Sradomski

Produced by Family Communications, Inc. in association with WQED, Pittsburgh

The people who gave the money to make this television visit are the people of The Sears Roebuck Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

© 1973, 1974 Family Communications, Inc.

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