Bagpuss, dear Bagpuss
Old Fat Furry Catpuss
Wake up and look at this thing that I bring
Wake up, be bright, be golden and light
Bagpuss, oh hear what I sing|20px|20px
When Emily had left, Bagpuss would wake up. The programme shifted from sepia to colour stop motion film, and various toys in the shop would also come to life: Gabriel the toad and a rag doll called Madeleine. The wooden woodpecker bookend became the drily academic Professor Yaffle (distantly based, it is said, on the philosopher Bertrand Russell), while the mice carved on the side of the "mouse organ" (a small mechanical pipe organ which played rolls of music) woke up and scurried around, singing in high-pitched voices. Sandra Kerr and John Faulkner provided the voices of Madeleine and Gabriel respectively, and put together and performed all the proper songs. All the other voices (including the narrator and one out-of-tune mouse) were provided by Oliver Postgate, who also wrote the stories.
The toys would discuss what the new object was; someone (usually Madeleine) would tell a story related to the object (shown in an animated thought-bubble over Bagpuss's head), often with a song, which would be accompanied by Gabriel on the banjo (which often sounded a lot more like a guitar), and then the mice, singing in high pitched squeaky harmony as they worked, would mend the broken object. The newly mended thing would then be put in the shop window, so that whoever had lost it would see it as they went past, and could come in and claim it. Then Bagpuss would start yawning again, and as he fell asleep the colour faded to sepia and they all became toys again.
|1||The Ship in a Bottle||12 February 1974||"Where would it sail to?"|
|2||The Owls of Athens||19 February 1974||A dirty rag that reveals a picture once cleaned|
|3||The Frog Princess||26 February 1974||Assorted jewels, which initially are thought to represent a cat and mouse but which Gabriel decides were the crown jewels of a frog princess|
|4||The Ballet Shoe||5 March 1974||Put to inventive use by the mice, and the subject of a very silly song about its possible use as a rowing boat|
|5||The Hamish||12 March 1974||A tartan porcupine pincushion, and a legend of a small, soft creature from Scotland|
|6||The Wise Man||19 March 1974||A broken figurine of a Chinaman (the Wise Man of Ling-Po, Yaffle explains) and a turtle|
|7||The Elephant||26 March 1974||An elephant missing its ears|
|8||The Mouse Mill||2 April 1974||A wooden toy mill demonstrated by the mice to make chocolate biscuits out of butterbeans and breadcrumbs. This turns out to be a mischievous fraud.|
|9||The Giant||9 April 1974||A statuette, and a lesson about how sizes are relative|
|10||Old Man's Beard||16 April 1974||A tangly plant (Clematis vitalba seeding)|
|11||The Fiddle||23 April 1974||A fiddle which plays itself; and a leprechaun|
|12||Flying||30 April 1974||A basket which the mice attempt to turn into a flying machine|
|13||Uncle Feedle||7 May 1974||A piece of cloth, destined to be a house for a rag doll|
Most of the stories and songs used in the series are based on folk songs and fairy tales from around the world. The round sung by the mice (starting with the words "We will fix it...") is to the tune of "Sumer is icumin in", dating from the Middle Ages.
Bagpuss, Dear Bagpuss You're 30 Years Old You Fat, Furry Cat-Puss; AND THE LITTLE GIRL WHO STARRED WITH HIM LOOKS BACK ON HIS GLORY DAYS
Feb 11, 2004; Byline: CLARE GOLDWIN THE cloth cat is a little saggier around the paws and the years have even added a sprinkling of grey to the...