Purple Cows

The Recipe

Purple Cow Receipe - The Purple Store

Purple Cow Receipe








The Poem

I never saw a purple cow
I never hope to see one
But I can tell you anyhow
I’d rather see than be one!

– Gelett Burgess, The Lark, 1896

The College

Purple Cow College - The Purple Store

William's College

Williams College’s Purple Cows

At the start of the 20th Century, Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA had a humor magazine called “The Purple Cow”. In 1907, the student body elected the purple cow to be the college’s mascot.

The Other Poem

Ah yes, I wrote “The Purple Cow”
I’m Sorry now I wrote it
But I can tell you Anyhow
I’ll Kill you if you Quote it!

– Gelett Burgess, The Lark, 1897

Burgess, who made many other contributions to turn of the 20th century literature, became increasingly annoyed that his name and fame always led him back to The Purple Cow. The subtitle that appeared in the San Francisco Larkwith this follow-up poem says it all:

CONFESSION: and a Portrait, Too,
Upon a Background that I Rue!