Mr. Ratburn gives the class an assignment --- to write a story about anything they want. It seems like a simple assignment and it doesn't even have to be bound and sent to a publisher as Muffy suggests. Arthur, however, finds it a hard task when he starts trying to write to please everyone's tastes. He starts out with the simple story of how he got his dog Pal, but after following the advice of each of his friends, it morphs into a bizarre country tune about baby elephants being born in outer space.
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"Arthur's Lost Dog"
It's Downtown Day in Elwood City, with all sorts of fun games and activities. Arthur, D.W., their parents, Baby Kate and Pal are all out enjoying the activities when suddenly Baby Kate starts crying. The noise seems to upset Pal and he ends up with D.W., then breaks away and runs off. As Arthur and his friends chase after the apparently lost dog, Pal seems to be on a mission the entire time.
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Francine Alice Frensky
Mr. Nigel Emil Ratburn
Voice of Arthur Timothy Read (1996-2001)
David Read / Binky Barnes
Carefully watch some of the background characters in "Arthur's Lost Dog" --- many of them are completely still!
In "Arthur's Lost Dog," Pal slips out of his leash and collar and escapes. As the show tracks his progress, he's shown with his collar still on! Eventually, the collar does disappear and is not seen for the rest of the story.
In "Arthur Writes a Story," Mr. Ratburn assigns the stories to be due Friday. Since Arthur changes his story, he doesn't have it written down. Mr. Ratburn lets him off the hook, telling him "I do expect you to write that story down and hand it in first thing tomorrow." Apparently both he and Arthur forgot that the next day is a Saturday. However, some have suggested that they are both merely metaphorically speaking of the next class.
(As Arthur and Buster look for Pal, an announcement comes on over the outdoor P.A. speakers...)
Man on P.A.: Attention, attention! A dog has been found. Would its' owner please report to the Town Hall's lost-and-found?
Arthur: Town Hall!
(Arthur and Buster rush over there; among arriving...)
Arthur: (to receptionist) You found a dog?
Receptionist: Yes... (gets him out) here he is. (it's a rather ugly chihuahua)
Arthur and Chihuahua: Bleah!
Mrs. Wood: (kissing with lips) Kiss me, you fool.
(The shot rips in two which cuts to Arthur's mouth on close-up.)
Arthur: (while holding his ripped paper) I can't do it!
Other people in the library: SHHHHH!
Arthur: (screams while rips of paper is blown off from the wind of the shushing)
Man at the Bank: Free giveaways! Free giveaways!
(A whole crowd runs up to the bank in hopes of free valuable giveaways; however, the man holds up a bunch of bank-branded pencils)
Man at the Bank: Sample pencils!
(The crowd boos and leaves, disappointed)
Man at the Bank: What did you think? They have the name of the bank written on them. Anybody?! (voice breaks) Nobody wants a pencil!
Mr. Read: How did you get Kate to stop crying?
Mrs. Read: I don't know. I guess we'll never know what was bothering her.
Arthur: Pal? He ran away from me. What did I do wrong?
Pal: (barks and leaps away from Muffy)
Muffy: What a rude little dog.
Woman: I tell you, I haven't seen any dogs.
Buster: Can I look in bag, ma'am? Pal? Pal?
D.W.: (as she, Arthur and Buster pass a pet store) Why not just get a new dog? Look at that dog's eyes. He looks intelligent. He'd never get lost.
(Arthur and Buster take a look at the French poodle D.W. is pointing to...)
Vendor: Guess how many pickles. Win valuable cheese.
D.W.: Roll over, Pal.
Pal: (stares and whines)
D.W.: See, Arthur? Your dog is dopey. He doesn't understand anything.
Mr. Ratburn: Don't worry about what you think people wanna hear. Just tell your story the way it means the most to you.
Song Lyrics to Arthur's Musical Elephant "Story":
Now this little boy / Can go home and enjoy / His own personal striped elephant (Yee-haw!) /
And you will see / How happy he will be / Here on Planet Shmelafin!
Arthur: Invisible elephants? Too obvious.
Mr. Read: (removing some of Arthur's clothing from the freezer) Are all of the kids wearing their clothing chilled nowadays?
Mrs. Read: What is that boy thinking?
Arthur: Sorry, sir. I was thinking about blue elephants.
Mr. Haney: Why didn't I become a tree surgeon like my mother wanted?
Arthur: (to Brain) So you don't like it?
Frog That Brain's Holding: (croaking) Rrrotten.
Arthur: Okay, I'm writing the story of how I got Pal.
D.W.: That's not a story. It's just a weird thing that happened.
Arthur: I only need one idea. I know exactly what I'm going to write about and I'm gonna make it the best story in the class.
Buster: I like it better when we get told what to do and don't have to do so much thinking.
Mrs. Fink: For tonight's homework, find two words that rhyme.
Mr. Ratburn: Tomorrow, you'll be quizzed on everything.
Mrs. Fink: Tomorrow, we'll put your rhymes together and make a fun song.
Arthur: I'm writing a story that everybody's going to like.
This episode marks the first appearance of Pickles the Clown. He reappears on occasion in later episodes.
The events of "Arthur Writes a Story" are made into a track on the original Arthur and Friends album. The proper spelling of the name of Arthur's fictional planet is Shmelafin, as seen on the text that appears on the bottom of the screen at the end of the country western music video:
ARTHUR DESPERATE RECORDS
"Arthur Writes a Story" contains many references to as well as flashback scenes from "Arthur's Pet Business."
Haney Abuse Tracker: Arthur absentmindedly ties his bike lock chain around Mr. Haney's foot and then babbles about blue elephants, causing Mr. Haney to grumble about a different career path he should have taken.
"Arthur Writes a Story" is based in part on a book by Marc Brown. "Arthur's Lost Dog" is available as part of the Step Into Reading series under the title Arthur's Lost Puppy.
"Arthur Writes a Story"
Title Card: D.W. Chases After Toady and Pal With a Newspaper
Card Reader: Binky
"Francine Frensky, Superstar"
Title Card: Arthur Swims after Pal and Says "Hi!"
Card Reader: Francine
And Now a Word From Us Kids: Schoolkids give their advice on writing and are shown writing their own stories. They suggest some of the attributes needed to be a good writer and explain the steps of the writing process.
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