Grants Cow Trick (circa 1955) is almost too simple a
project to include. The method for the trick dates back to the
days of Soup Plate Magic, hardly seen anymore since only the very
rich still include soup plates on their elegant tables. You can
still find routines for Soup Plate magic in Tarbell (Volume 2)
and Rices Encyclopedia of Silk Magic (Volume 3), but why
bother? Grant turned the Soup Plates into simple hardboard
plaques and sold the trick for about $2.00, which would probably
convert to $20.00 in todays currency. Not a very expensive
trick, but it points the way for revising the old Soup Plates
into a new kind of magic.
Before I get into revisions and variations, let me remind you of
the original Cow Trick.
A funny little cow and a patch of grass;
Instead of milk in a pail, this one gives it in a glass.
The trick as sold (no longer available) consisted of two
pieces of cardboard, one with a stenciled image of a cow, and the
other piece was plain green, representing grass. While reciting
the little poem (above), the magician would show both sides of
both pieces of cardboard. Then he would hold the green grass
cardboard flat (like a tray) and place the cow cardboard on it in
an upright position as a cover. When the cow picture is removed,
a glass of milk is discovered on the grass.
My first improvement, as shown above, is to substitute real
photos for the painted and stenciled plaques. This is easy to do
using todays computer printers. Obviously I could have
taken a photo of a real cow, but there is a reason why I chose to
photograph the toy plastic cow and superimpose it in front of a
barn on the first plaque. Both of the photographs shown above are
yours for the asking. Just e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org from
the same e-mail addressed that you used when you purchased this
article and request the jpg files for the Cow Trick. However, not
everyone will want to use my photos, since you may have trouble
finding a toy cow that looks just like mine.
During the course of my revised version of this trick, a real
glass of real milk will appear, complete with a cookie to go with
it, and then in an X-Treme version of the trick (optional) the
toy cow will seem to pop out of the photograph. In a third
version of the trick, you produce a three dimensional cardboard
barn, a bale of hay, and finally the plastic cow makes its
appearance. Additional optional verse lines are included to go
along with the new productions.
Buy all 10 articles of Book 2 of Jim
"The Hardboard and Duct tape Magic Show"