Unpublished Trick:
The Mystery of the Milkmaid's Missing Knickers          

An amusing enactment of a tragic tale

"Ladies and gentlemen, for a moment please I'd like you all to spare a thought for my late and great Auntie Mildred. She spent eighty seven years serving as the milkmaid to Lord Strapp until dawn on that fateful July day when she stepped into the milking shed and disappeared. It transpired that she had forgotten to cut her fingernails that morning and when she reached out to clutch the mighty udder of Queen Buttercup the fourth, she inadvertently scratched the beast causing her to fly into a vicious rage. Queen Buttercup turned on Mildred and with one mighty gulp, she swallowed her down as easily as she might chew a cud.

"The funeral was a gloomy affair. Over the days following the disaster, Mildred passed through Buttercup and was gradually deposited in lumps and dollops all around the cow field. However it was felt important that she should be interred in the more conventional way, and thanks to the untiring diligence of the Lord's son Jock, almost every part of Mildred and her outfit was recovered. When Jock finally stooped to pick up her little milk maid's hat, he got a big pat on the back. And when the time came to sew all the bits back together and put the body into her coffin, the only item missing was the Mildred the milkmaid's knickers.

This is a picture of a trick which
should NOT be attempted.
"To this day, in memory of my great Auntie, I still carry around this momento, wrapped in her very own udder cloth, to remind me of Mildred the milkmaid."

The performer is raising a cloth to reveal on a table underneath is a 2/3 full bottle of milk.

"This half full bottle of Queen Buttercup's milk was the very last that great beast ever gave. Some say it was guilt, some say it was grief, but shortly after Mildred was buried, Queen Buttercup threw herself into an oncoming combine harvester, giving the driver no time to bail her out. A tragic story I'm sure you will agree, and to this day, the mystery of the milkmaid's missing knickers remains."

The performer covers over the milk bottle again.

"Where could they have gone? Everything that came out of Queen Buttercup had been scrutinised by hand. In fact there is only one place left that those knickers could be. The only item that was never searched fully is the last blast of milk from those mighty udders. Do you think it could be...?"

The performer pulls the cloth from the milk bottle.

The milk has gone, and a pair of knickers are in the bottle. These may be removed and shown to the audience.

"It's a miracle - it's the missing milkmaid's knickers!"



Cut a strip of paper long enough to wrap around the bottle, and just wide enough to reach from the bottom to where the neck of the bottle starts. (When the paper is rolled up and put around the inside of the bottle it will look like milk).

Before putting the paper in the bottle, tear off about 20cm of sellotape. Stick it along the edge of the paper so that a length of tape is hanging off the paper.

Roll the paper into a tube and insert it into the milk bottle with the extra strip of sellotape sticking out of the neck. When the tube is down inside the bottle, use the clean end of a pen or pencil to open the roll out so it runs around the inside of the bottle. From a distance this should look like the bottle has got some milk in it. The tape should not be noticed.

Carefully put the knickers into the bottle without scuffing the paper. The best way to do this is to take another piece of paper and roll it into a tube, push the tube halfway into the bottle, then shove the knickers "down the tube" with a pencil. When the knickers are in place, remove the tube. Put the bottle on a table so that the eyes of the audience will be level with it. Fold the sellotape strip down the back then cover it with a cloth.


Tell the story as above. When you first reveal the bottle, the audience will see the paper and think it is milk. The second time you reveal the bottle, before pulling the cloth away, put your hand underneath and grab the bottle. When you remove the cloth, pull the sellotape strip as well. This will pull the paper from the bottle. As everyone is gasping at the knickers, bundle the paper into the cloth and discard casually. When the knickers are removed and shown to be completely dry, the miracle is complete.


To stop the paper from tearing, it is wise to reinforce it by sticking extra pieces of tape along the back.

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