Saturday, July 15, 2006

"Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks" ...

Remember Saturday mornings when you were a kid? I loved Saturday mornings. Cartoons for hours. If my parents weren't awake when I got up, I'd grab a box of cereal and head downstairs and plant myself on the couch, watching cartoons and eating cereal out of the box. Ah, dry Froot Loops.

This morning, I got a bowl of Rice Krisipies and banana and headed into my TV room. Started flipping channels. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Some kids' program on PBS. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

How can there be so much on TV and nothing to watch? I started the channel cycle again. I stopped on the PBS show. There was a sheep talking about being bored. He wanted his sheep friend to suggest a sport they could play.

"Cricket?" said the friend.

"Cricket? That's the same as being bored!" said the sheep, who, I realized, was voiced by Mel Brooks.

Now I was hooked. What the hell was I watching?

In the next scene, a young cow (well, bull, really; he has little horn nubs on his head) didn't want to go to school. He stood in the doorway of his home with his big bull dad standing behind him and his friends (a pig and a duck) in front of him, explaining that he was sad because his fish died. But the characters were speaking with Irish accents. But Ferny (that's the lil' cow) used the word "Gracias." Spanish-speaking Irish cows?

So Ferny went to school with Piggley Winks and Dannan O'Mallard, but when their teacher, Mr. Hornsby (a goat, if you were wondering) asked the class to tell him some of the things that make Ireland great, everything reminded Ferny of his dead fish, Thor (pronounced "Tor" in Ireland, don'tcha know?), and he started to cry.

His classmates, insensitive animal oafs that they are, started to laugh at him, but Piggley and Dannan came to his defense, and explained that he was sad because his fish died.

Later, Piggley told his dad about the events of the day, and his father asked if they thought about waking Thor.

"Oh," Piggley said in his cute little Irish accent. "We've seen him. He's gone."

His father told him that he's lucky to have not lost any friends or family, but explained what a wake is for. So they decided that a wake is just what was needed to help Ferny say goodbye to his pet. There was a procession through town to the pond, where everyone said a few kind words about Thor and Ferny put his little coffin box onto a homemade raft (the mast is a metal barbeque skewer) and then they all gathered for the usual post-service eating and drinking (Mr. Hornsby supplied cucumber sandwiches, and one of Ferny's friends made him a Spanish treat that he likes; I still haven't gotten the backstory on the Spanish cow family living in Ireland) and Ferny realized that while he's still sad, it was a "good sad" and he thanked everyone for coming and for being his good friends.

Oh. My. God. It's the most charming thing I've seen on television in years. The computer animation is top notch, the voice actors are terrific, and the subject matter of this episode is especially important. My mom's mom died when I was 8, so I dealt with death at a pretty young age. And I think it's important for the process to be demystified for kids.

Jakers!, if you're wondering (as I was), is an Irish expression of amazement and delight, according to the show's web site.

Jakers!

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Janey Mack! I thought I was the only other person in the world that saw this funny and adorable show.

Glad to know there's another fan out there in the hills of Tara.

12:21 PM  

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