What they See: The Clown prince of magic says, “Today you will see the most amazing trick this side of the Rio Grande – It’s the one, the only, the amazing magical Texas Vanishing Steer!” The clown holds up a plastic toy steer. “Hey folks, this is where everybody says Woooooo!” The audience says Woooooo, and the clown turns to a young man and leans over and says, “That’s Wooooo – NOT Boooooo!”


OK, on with the trick – Hold up the steer and say, “This is the amazing magical Texas vanishing steer – Clarabelle… OK – he is not so excited about the name either!” The cowbell is held up and a child is invited on stage to ring the bell. “You will ring the cow bell and then, like magic, the steer will disappear! Hand the bell to the child and ask the child to practice gently ringing the bell just once. The bell does not ring! “That’s some Magic Cow bell – only a dog can hear it!” Clown attempts to ring bell and nothing happens. “Well we can’t to the trick without the magic Cow Bell. Should we give up and go home?” The kids say no. “That’s right – we should never give up and we can use magic to fix this.”


The child is handed the magic wand and taps the cowbell and at that moment the cowbell suddenly works! This is done with a magnet on the outside of the bell – this is placed there before the show with the clapper held against the inside. The magnet holds the clapper to one side so that it will not ring. If your cowbell has a clapper made of something other than steel, then you will need to switch it for a hardware store nut on a string. The super strong magnet will hold the bell clapper to one side and when the magnet is removed later the bell works just fine.


The child holds the bell and practices ringing it. “Ahhh very nice that is some rootin’ tootin’ ringing!”

The clown drops the cow into the Devil’s Hank (a dealer item that has a secret pocket to hide the cow when the hank is flipped open and shown on both sides. Approx. cost $15 – if you can’t find one at your magic dealer… call me as I have an extra or two.)


“AND NOW – Ladies and Gentlemen – that’s you guys! It is time for the amazing magical Texas Vanishing Steer. Say Woooo!” Clown looks down and the boy from before and says Not Mooooo!


Everyone try again – “very good.” The Steer is lifted high in the air then held above the Devil’s Hank bag (OK, it is called a Devil’s Hank – hey, I did not invent the name!)


“Everyone say Goodbye Clarabelle.” They will say goodbye. “No, I am sorry to correct you but the steer does not speak your language – You must talk in Steer language and to say goodbye you say, Mooooo!” They do – You once again look down at the boy and say, “It’s Moooooo – Not Glueeeeee!”


“Now ladies and gentlemen, aunts and uncles, girls and grasshoppers it is time for the amazing magical Texas Vanishing Steer! – say Woooooo!” Look down at the same boy and wave your hand as in well that is “iffy” or just barely good enough.


The cow is put into the Hank (let’s just call it Hank so we don’t offend the preacher). “Let’s watch the steer disappear from here – say that three times fast!” The volunteer clangs the cow bell. The clown just has to say it…, “More cow bell!” The kid rattles the bell. The hank is shown empty and clown says, “This is where everyone says, Wooooo!” They do and the clown says. “How about you-all in this lovely audience give our volunteer a big round of applause.” The clown clangs the bell as the child steps back to their seat.


Then the clown looks into the cow bell and turns it over and then down and the steer reappears and drops onto the hand. Have cow take a bow. “That is Clarabelle the Steer that Disappears!” The steer is moved like a puppet and takes a bow then whispers in your ear. “You want to give me a kiss?!!? Well, Aww shucks OK.” You point to your cheek and act like you are ready for the steer to kiss you on the cheek and then it gives you a kiss on the lips. You react to the steer kiss with a yucky face and the kids laugh and live happily ever after. “How about a nice round of applause for Clarabelle – The Steer that Disappears.” Ring the cow bell a couple times.


For an added bit the clown sets the steer down on the table and then secretly grabs the magnet again and holds it on the side of the cowbell and then notices that it has stopped ringing. React to it not ringing – hold it up to your ear… “hum that was some good magic!”


I hope you like this original routine that uses some simple props.


What you Need: A plastic cow or steer. It can be a bit funny if you hold up a heifer and mislabel it a steer but I like it the way it is. You also need a cowbell, a magic wand and a magic prop called a Devil’s Hank. This is a special handkerchief with a secret pocket that can vanish any small object the easy way.


How it’s Done: The bell is a standard cowbell the magnet holds the clapper against the side of the bell – when magnet is removed the bell works. To make the cow reappear in the bell at the end… you will need as second identical steer. All the attention will be on the child going back to sit down and the applause and they think the trick is over so that you can easily slip the steer into the cow bell. Moo!


  • Norman Barnhart – Clown Guy, is a fun fellow who has clowned for over 35 years. His first tour of school assemblies was across Texas for a school year for the Coronado School Assembly Service out of Corpus Christi.  Norman is from Minnesota and was one of the featured performers at the Texas Clown Association a few years ago.  In 2022 Norman will give his one of a kind original comedy magic lecture via virtual class. He wants to attend T.C.A.  in person again and can’t wait to see all his awesome Texas friends. 
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