Purple cow back home in Helena

Charity Miller had given up any hope of ever seeing her purple cow again.

The 3-foot-tall cow, which Miller’s father handmade for her, was stolen from Miller’s yard in late August. She hadn’t seen hide nor hair of the cow, named MooPsi, since.

That changed the night of Dec. 11, when Miller received a phone call from her husband with good news.

“He said, ‘You’re never going to believe what’s here!’” Miller recalled. “I said, ‘You’re kidding me, right?’”

Shortly after Miller left the house, a knock had come at the playroom window. When her son, Jason, went out to check, he found MooPsi in the driveway.

Although MooPsi was undamaged, she wasn’t completely unchanged. Whoever stole her screwed a speech bubble on her head, which stated “Home for the holidays” on one side and insulted the purple side of College Night at the University of Montevallo on the other side. Miller is a member of the purple side.

However, the Miller family adapted to the change, simply covering up the insults. They later removed the speech bubble entirely.

Miller said she’s certain someone who attends UM and knows her well stole the cow.

“It was the last day of classes, when everybody’s packing up to leave,” she said. “And they knew I wasn’t going to be home.”

From now on, MooPsi will become a wintertime fixture in the yard. Miller said they will keep her out from October to February to decorate her for the holidays and celebrate College Night, and then she’ll get a rest inside. The cow is more securely fastened now, so it’d be a real struggle for someone to steal her again.

Miller said she was shocked, but happy, to get MooPsi back after she had been missing for four months.

“I was excited. I had one week until graduation, and my father was flying in, and I wanted him to see the cow in the yard,” she said. “I was to the point where I had already told my father, ‘Just make a little one for my desk for when I start teaching.’ I had already given up hope that she would come back.”