Provided by: cowsay_3.03+dfsg1-15_all bug


       cowsay/cowthink - configurable speaking/thinking cow (and a bit more)


       cowsay  [-e  eye_string]  [-f  cowfile]  [-h]  [-l]  [-n]  [-T  tongue_string] [-W column]


       Cowsay generates an ASCII picture of a cow saying something provided by the user.  If  run
       with  no  arguments,  it  accepts standard input, word-wraps the message given at about 40
       columns, and prints the cow saying the given message on standard output.

       To aid in the use of arbitrary messages with arbitrary whitespace, use the -n option.   If
       it  is  specified, the given message will not be word-wrapped.  This is possibly useful if
       you want to make the cow think or speak in figlet(6).  If -n is specified, there must  not
       be any command-line arguments left after all the switches have been processed.

       The  -W  specifies roughly where the message should be wrapped.  The default is equivalent
       to -W 40 i.e. wrap words at or before the 40th column.

       If any command-line arguments are left over after all switches have been  processed,  they
       become  the  cow's  message.   The program will not accept standard input for a message in
       this case.

       There are several provided modes which change the appearance of the cow depending  on  its
       particular emotional/physical state.  The -b option initiates Borg mode; -d causes the cow
       to appear dead; -g invokes greedy mode; -p causes a state of paranoia  to  come  over  the
       cow;  -s makes the cow appear thoroughly stoned; -t yields a tired cow; -w is somewhat the
       opposite of -t, and initiates wired mode; -y brings on the cow's youthful appearance.

       The user may specify the -e option to select the appearance of the cow's  eyes,  in  which
       case the first two characters of the argument string eye_string will be used.  The default
       eyes are 'oo'.  The tongue is similarly configurable through -T and tongue_string; it must
       be  two  characters and does not appear by default.  However, it does appear in the 'dead'
       and 'stoned' modes.  Any configuration done by -e and -T  will  be  lost  if  one  of  the
       provided modes is used.

       The  -f  option  specifies  a  particular  cow  picture file (``cowfile'') to use.  If the
       cowfile spec contains '/' then it will be interpreted as a path relative  to  the  current
       directory.   Otherwise,  cowsay  will search the path specified in the COWPATH environment
       variable.  To list all cowfiles on the current COWPATH, invoke cowsay with the -l switch.

       If the program is invoked as cowthink then the cow  will  think  its  message  instead  of
       saying it.


       A  cowfile  is made up of a simple block of perl(1) code, which assigns a picture of a cow
       to the variable $the_cow.  Should you wish to customize the eyes or the tongue of the cow,
       then  the  variables  $eyes  and  $tongue  may be used.  The trail leading up to the cow's
       message  balloon  is  composed  of  the  character(s)  in  the  $thoughts  variable.   Any
       backslashes  must  be reduplicated to prevent interpolation.  The name of a cowfile should
       end with .cow, otherwise it is assumed not to be a cowfile.  Also, at-signs  (``@'')  must
       be backslashed because that is what Perl 5 expects.


       What older versions? :-)

       Version  3.x  is fully backward-compatible with 2.x versions.  If you're still using a 1.x
       version, consider upgrading.  And tell me where you got the older versions, since I didn't
       exactly put them up for world-wide access.

       Oh, just so you know, this manual page documents version 3.03 of cowsay.


       The  COWPATH  environment  variable,  if present, will be used to search for cowfiles.  It
       contains a colon-separated list of directories, much like  PATH  or  MANPATH.   It  should
       always  contain  the /usr/share/cowsay/cows directory, or at least a directory with a file
       called default.cow in it.


       /usr/share/cowsay/cows holds a sample set of cowfiles.  If your COWPATH is not  explicitly
       set, it automatically contains this directory.


       If there are any, please notify the author at the address below.


       Tony  Monroe (, with suggestions from Shannon Appel (appel@CSUA.Berkeley.EDU)
       and contributions from Anthony Polito (aspolito@CSUA.Berkeley.EDU).


       perl(1), wall(1), nwrite(1), figlet(6)

                                   $Date: 1999/11/04 19:50:40 $                         cowsay(6)