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Bagpuss, the main character of the show.

Bagpuss was a British children's television programme created by Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate. It ran from February 12 to the May 7, 1974.


The mice fixing an object while singing "Sumer Is Icumen In".
The Marvellous Mechanical Mouse Organ.

The episode starts with a series of sepia photographs, and Emily bringing an object home to Bagpuss, who would take a look at the object. The mice then come and look at the object while singing a version of "Sumer Is Icumen In". Throughout the show, Madeline and Gabriel play music.


The mice on the mouse organ.
  • Bagpuss, the main character; a fat cat with pink and white stripes. Bagpuss is inanimate until Emily sings the song at the beginning.
  • Emily, a little girl who owns Bagpuss, and brings lost objects home in case someone notices them.
  • The mice, several mice who live in a large organ called "The Marvelous Mechanical Mouse Organ". They fix the objects that are brought home.
  • Professor Yaffle, a wooden bookend in the shape of a woodpecker. Professor Yaffle guesses what the object is, often getting it wrong.
  • Gabriel the Toad, a toad that plays the banjo.
  • Madeline the Rag Doll, a rag doll that sings.


 Episode  Title Original airdate Summary
1 Ship in a Bottle 12 February 1974[1] Some splints of wood are shaken out of a bottle by the mice. Bagpuss tells a story about mermaids and the magic repairs the model ship. The mice put it back into the bottle and raise the sails.
2 The Owls of Athens 19 February 1974 A dirty rag reveals a picture of an owl. Once cleaned, Madeleine recounts a story explaining why owls sound like they do. Gabriel recounts in song the story of a king who needed a cushion to sit on.
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 Chinese man (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. Gabriel and Madeleine sing a song about how ploughmen, farmers, millers, and bakers work at different stages of bread production. Even stern old Professor Yaffle cries.
9 The Giant 9 April 1974 A statuette, and a lesson about how sizes are relative.
10 The Old Man's Beard 16 April 1974 A tangly plant (Clematis vitalba seeding), and a loom for weaving.
11 The Fiddle 23 April 1974 A fiddle that plays itself, and a leprechaun.
12 Flying 30 April 1974 A basket that the mice attempt to turn into a flying machine. Professor Yaffle recites a poem about Percy Pratt, a man who apparently invented the aeroplane.
13 Uncle Feedle 7 May 1974 A piece of cloth, destined to be a house for a rag doll.


  1. Runcie, Charlotte 12 February 2014. "Happy 40th birthday, Bagpuss!", The Daily Telegraph