The True Story of the Cow that Jumped over the Moon
Happily Everafter
Author: Michael Buckley
Publication date: © 2011
Published by: Amulet Books
Publication Order

"The True Story of the Cow that Jumped over the Moon" is a short story by Michael Buckley set in the world of The Sisters Grimm. It tells the story of Bess from the point of the farmer who used to own her. It is published on the official Sisters Grimm website under the tab "Happily Everafter" and can be read here.


Mr. Summers is a funny old codger with a million stories, but the most unusual of his tales is that of the cow who jumped over the moon. Mom and Dad had told me this particular fairy tale was nothing more than a bedtime story, but they didn’t think that Mother Goose was real, either, and we had her and Puss in Boots up for dinner last weekend. I’m documenting the story but with some skepticism, but then again, who knows? If a cow really did jump over the moon there just might be a fiddle-playing cat and a very fast dish and a spoon out there somewhere.
~ Henry Grimm, 1994 , from

In 1994, Henry Grimm conducted an interview with a farmer named Clement Summers. This story is a transcript of that interview.

Several years earlier, Clement Summers had a calf named Bess born on his farm. Early in her life, Bess would do strange things like follow Summers around the farm and watch him work on machinery. Eventually she learned how to fix Mr Summers's broken truck, as well as all the other mechanical things on the farm. She taught herself to read with a stack of encyclopedias. 

When Clement Summers tried selling the cow to a another farmer, that farmer refused to keep her because she was "defective."

The year the first moon landing occured, Bess watched it on TV with interest. Later Summers discovered her building a space telescope in the shed. Every night, she used it to look at the moon. 

Some time later, Summers discovered that she'd build a rocket ship in the shed as well, and he watched her blast off through the roof. Looking through the telescope, he saw her land on the moon, get out, walk around and jump.

I suppose that’s what they mean when they say she jumped over the moon.
~ Clement Summers, from

The story ends with Clement Summers sending Henry a newspaper clipping with a photo of a wooden rocket ship, along with the note "The Truth Is Out There!"


It isn't specified when this story was written by Michael Buckley (though the website says © 2011), meaning it's unclear whether he wrote it before or after Once Upon a Crime.

However, the story itself takes place around 1969, the year of the Apollo 11 moon landing, and several years before the rest of the series. Henry's notes at the beginning and end are dated 1994 and 1995, and his location is noted as NYC. 1994 is the year Henry and Jake momentarily let the barrier down and Henry moves to NYC. This story suggests he kept doing his job as a fairy tale detective for some time before finally quitting completely. 

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