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1983

Dinosaurs

In the Children’s Department, Sam is looking at a stegosaurus skeleton.  “Would you get a look at the face on this critter.  Like something you’d see in a monster movie, isn’t it, Jodie?” he says.  Jodie laughs at Sam’s characterization of the skeleton, while explaining that the pictures and models on display depict real dinosaurs.  Sam, continuing to look at the stegosaurus skeleton, remarks, “Well, I wouldn’t want to run into this critter!  Would you?”

“No, you don’t have to worry about that, Sam,” explains Jodie.  “All the dinosaurs have been dead for a long, long time.”  She continues to explain that their skeletons still exist, such as the ones on display at the museum.

“You mean they have dinosaur bones down at the museum?” asks Sam.  “I didn’t know that.”

Jodie explains that a lot of people don’t know, which is why the store and the museum are sponsoring a dinosaur drawing contest, in order to promote the museum’s dinosaur exhibit.  The winner of the contest will receive $100 and free passes to the museum.  Sam is impressed.  He suggests that they all enter the contest.  Jodie thinks that it’s a good idea, and they leave to go tell Jeff and Muffy.

Before Sam leaves, though, he tells the dinosaur skeleton, “You don’t go away, now. We’ll be right back!”

Next, TXL asks us what we think of when we hear the word “dinosaur”.  She asks us if we think of a large, fearful creature, and shows us a large dinosaur.  She then explains, as the dinosaur pictured shrinks down, that some dinosaurs were small, such as compsognathus, which was no bigger than a rooster.  When the rooster pictured crows, the compsognathus runs off screen.

Standing outside Muffy’s house, Sam is making growling sounds at a toy dinosaur, and remarking about how real toy dinosaurs look.  He then spots Jeff, and is excited to tell him about the dinosaur drawing contest that they were entering.  “Hey, Jeff,” he says, “you’ll never guess in a million, billion, trillion years what we’re gonna do.”

“Well, uh,” he says, “how about, we’re going to draw dinosaurs for the contest, first prize is two free passes to the museum and $100.”

“Wait… that’s right!” exclaims Sam.  “Boy, that was a good guess.”

“I didn’t guess,” explains Jeff.  “Jodie just told me.”  He then explains that Jodie sent him to get some poster paper, while she gets painting supplies.

That reminds Sam that he is supposed to get some crayons.  Sam tells Jeff that if he sees Muffy, to tell her about what is going on.  Handing Jeff the toy dinosaur, he excuses himself to go find the crayons.

Jeff looks at the dinosaur and then remarks to us, “Those dinosaurs were strange looking creatures, weren’t they?  Of course, real dinosaurs were so much bigger than this.  My Book of Knowledge says that some dinosaurs were as big as houses.  Can you imagine that?”  He then imagines what it would sound like when huge dinosaurs walked around.  He begins walking around in a heavy, lumbering fashion, with corresponding camera movements and sound effects.  He encourages us to join him, and then continues to walk like a dinosaur.

Everyone’s dinosaur walking has caught Muffy’s attention, who comes out to see what is going on outside her door.  “Oh, what is all this pounding?  The sound is astounding!”

Jeff explains that they were trying to walk like giant dinosaurs, and invites Muffy to join.

“I can’t stop and play with you.  I’ve got better things to do!” she says, as she runs back in, followed by the sound of water splashing.

“I wonder what Muffy’s doing in there!” says Jeff.

Muffy is in her bathtub, singing to herself.  “Rub-a-dub, dubby, in the mouse tubby.  Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles, soothe away my troubles!” she sings.

Outside, Jeff is poking at the bubbles coming out of Muffy’s door.  “Hey, Muffy, guess what!” he says.  “Jodie says we can all enter a dinosaur drawing contest.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?  She and Sam are downstairs now getting all the paints and the brushes and everything we’ll need.  Muffy?  Muffy?  Don’t you want to draw a dinosaur, too?”

Muffy replies, with a sigh, “Drawing dinosaurs, what a bore.  Just the thought of it makes me snore.”  The then begins making snoring sounds.

“Gee, that’s too bad,” says Jeff.  “First prize is two free passes to the museum and one hundred dollars.”

Now, Muffy is interested, and we see a thought balloon showing a cash register ringing up a sale.  She darts over to the door and asks, “Did you say one hundred dollars, cash?”  Jeff nods yes.  She laughs, and then says, “Stay right there.  I’ll be ready in a flash!” and hurries off to get ready.

Jeff is surprised.  “That’s funny,” he says.  “Just a minute ago, Muffy wasn’t the least bit interested in the dinosaur contest.  Until I mentioned the hundred dollar first prize.  What would a mouse like Muffy do with one hundred dollars?”

“I’d buy cheese, if you please, she says.  “Cheese, cheese, cheese.”  Muffy then imagines herself in a room filled with cheese floating on clouds, as she sings about her love of cheese.  After her song, she tells us, “If I’m going to win this contest, I’d better hurry and get dressed!”  With that, she runs behind a privacy screen, and emerges moments later, fully dressed.  “Artist’s smock and little beret says I’m ready to paint today!” she says as she heads out.

Next, we see the Mime Lady, painting a picture of a dinosaur.  “It looks like someone else is interested in the dinosair contest,” says TXL.  “Muffy says she’d buy cheese if she won first prize.  What would you buy with the prize money, Mime?”  The Mime thinks for a moment, and then her face lights up.  “Have an idea?” asks TXL.  “What?”  The Mime then pretends to get on something, and then begins making movements with her feet.  TXL questions this, and then, when the Mime sounds an imaginary horn, realizes that the Mime is riding a bicycle, and that the Mime would buy a bicycle with the prize money.  The Mime then loses her balance and falls.  When she gets back up, TXL remarks, “I think you’d better get one with training wheels!”

In the Children’s Department, Jodie and Sam look over the supplies that they’ve got.  Jodie says, “Well, Sam, I think we’ve got everything we need to get started on our dinosaur drawings.  We’ve got paint and paintbrushes, and rags to clean up the mess.”  Sam has similarly brought crayons and markers in many different colors.

Then Jeff comes in, carrying posterboard.  “Jodie, I’m afraid we’ve got a bit of a problem.  I could only find two posterboards down in the stock room,” he says.

“Only two?” Jodie asks.  “But we need four posters!”

Sam agrees that they need four: one for each of them.  Jeff wonders if this means that they can’t enter the contest.

“No contest?!?  Tears and woe.  Oh!  Say it isn’t so!” says Muffy.

Jodie says that they have to figure out how four people can use two posterboards.  When Jeff asks us, we tell him that they can share posterboards, to which he agrees.  Jeff then decides that he and Jodie will use one posterboard, and that Sam and Muffy would use the other.  Jodie compliments him on his idea.

“Well, Muffy,” says Sam, “looks like you and I are going to be partners!”

“Wait just a minute!” says Muffy.  “Hold on, there, you guys!  If we share the work, do we share the prize?”

Jodie is a bit surprised by this.  “Muffy is already worried about sharing the prize money, when we haven’t even done our dinosaur drawings yet!”

Next, we see the Mime Lady again.  TXL explains that the Mime is busy working on her dinosaur drawing.  She remarks that the Mime’s drawing looks like a Tyrannosaurus rex – a mean one, at that.  The Mime then indicates that the Tyrannosaurus rex likes to fight and eat other dinosaurs.  Noting its teeth, TXL understands why other dinosaurs would be afraid of the Tyrannosaurus rex.  The Mime then waves goodbye and begins to leave, but TXL calls her back.  “Wait a minute, Mime,” says TXL.  “There’s something very strange about your dinosaur.  Something a bit silly.”  TXL asks us to see if we see anything silly in the Mime’s drawing.  “See the feet?  That dinosaur is wearing sneakers!”  The Mime gives a nervous laugh.  “That’s silly,” says TXL.  “Why would a dinosaur need sneakers?”  When the Mime gestures that she doesn’t know, she is startled by the sound and sight of a large dinosaur roaring, which causes the dinosaur on the canvas to run away.  “Unless he has to run away from an even bigger dinosaur!”  The Mime follows her drawing, as a large dinosaur runs through the area.

Back in the Children’s Department, Jeff and Jodie are working on their drawing.  Jeff compliments Jodie’s blue sky, while Jodie compliments Jeff’s drawing of a stegosaurus, remarking that he really has a talent for drawing.  Jeff remarks that the stegosaurus is his favorite dinosaur, as he likes the bony plates along its back.  Just then, they hear Sam and Muffy arguing.  Jodie comments, “I don’t think Sam and Muffy are doing as well with their drawing as Jeff and I are.  All I can hear is them arguing!”

“Oh, I’m in a terrible pickle.  This drawing isn’t worth a nickel!” says Muffy.

“Well, I don’t know, Muffy,” says Sam.  “It’s not really so bad.  Look, you can say it’s colorful, couldn’t you?”

Muffy is unconvinced.  “That is the worst looking thing I ever did see!  It’s silly and stupid, you have to agree!”

Sam is offended by this.  “Oh!  Silly and stupid, is it?  Thank you very much!  Look, Muffy, I worked very hard on this!  Maybe it didn’t turn out, you know, perfect, but, I tried!”

“You have ruined the picture and my chances, too!  I’ll never win first prize with a partner like you!” shouts Muffy.

“Well!  If that’s the way you feel about it, miss Muffy Mouse, you can do the whole thing by yourself!  How do you like that?  ‘Cause I quit!” shouts Sam, as he throws a rag at Muffy and storms off.  As he leaves, he says, “Mouse giving me a hard time… look, if anyone wants me, I’ll be down in the Computer Room, all right.  I get so mad when she starts doing that to me…”

Jodie comes over to Muffy and asks what’s going on.  “Muffy, I don’t believe the way that you just talked to Sam!  I mean, he is supposed to be your friend!”

“How would you like your friend to treat you the way Muffy just treated Sam?” Jeff asks us.  “Oh, I’d feel hurt and angry.  I guess that’s how Sam feels right now.”

Jodie says to Muffy, “I don’t understand you today.”

Muffy explains, “If I’m going to win this contest, my drawing has to be the best!  Just look at Sam’s scribble scrawl!  His artwork is no good at all!”

“Is winning this contest, coming in first, is that so important to you that you would hurt your best friend?” asks Jodie.

“I must confess, in a word, YES!” replies Muffy.

“Well, then I really don’t understand you,” says Jodie, and she walks away.

Muffy is unfazed.  “I don’t care if they all turn away,” she says.  “I intend to win this contest today!”  She then explains in song that she wants to win, to be the best, and that she won’t accept anything less.

Down in the Computer Room, Sam is telling TXL about what happened in the Children’s Department.  TXL sympathizes, telling him, “Right now, Muffy isn’t thinking much about being a good friend.  All she can think about is winning that first prize.”

“Well, I don’t think that winning should be so all-fired important!” says Sam.  “I mean, winning isn’t everything.”

TXL replies, “Winning isn’t everything.  That’s what Papa Willoby says, too.”

“PAPA WILLOBY?” exclaims Sam.  “Is he here somewhere?”

TXL explains that Papa Willoby is in the next Willoby tale.  In the story, read to us by Sarah Stevens, we learn of Wendall’s participation in The Great Possum Ridge Cross Country Race.  There, Wendall took the lead early, and was excited to become the youngest winner of the race.  But then Wendall lost his stamina, and began to be outpaced.  Wendall ultimately placed eighth.  Wendall initially was kicking himself for losing, but Papa Willoby was proud of Wendall nonetheless, for running a good race and doing his best, and that was cause for celebrating.

Back in the Computer Room, Sam is running around the room, eventually sitting down, out of breath.  “Oh, boy,” he says.  “Maybe I should take up running like Wendall!  Then again, sitting isn’t a bad sport, either.”

TXL has a quiz for Sam.  He invites us to help him with it.  In the quiz, TXL has us match the skeleton of the Brontosaurus to the illustration.  We do this successfully.

“Speaking of brontosauruses and such,” says Sam, “I wonder if my ex-friend Muffy finished her dinosaur drawing.  If she doesn’t win that contest, there’s gonna be one grumpy little mouse running around here.  Never saw a body so set on winning!”

In the Children’s Department, Muffy is blowing a horn.  “My dinosaur drawing is complete, from tip of tail to cute little feet!  Take a look, all you guys.  Will my picture win first prize?  Or,” she says, turning to the other drawing, “do you like this picture more?  It’s Jodie and Jeff’s dinosaur.”  She then asks us to clap for the dinosaur that we like best.  She first has us clap for her drawing, and then for Jeff and Jodie’s drawing.  We applaud more for Jeff and Jodie’s drawing.  Reacting to our applause, she says, “I don’t like to whimper and whine, but you like theirs better than mine!”  Looking at their drawing, Muffy lets out a sigh, and says, “If that picture were mine, everything would be fine.  I’ll just sign my name, and then I can I can claim this dinosaur belongs to me!  And then I’ll win the prize, don’t you see?”  She then signs her name at the bottom of the poster.  “There.  The deed is done.  The prize nearly won!”

Just then, an image of a mouse dressed as an angel appears above Muffy’s head.  The mouse says, “Muffy Mouse, you are a louse!  Signing your name, tsk, tsk, shame, shame!  How can you cheat like that?  You’re nothing better than a rat!”

Mufy has a change of heart.  She admits that she cheated, and then uses the eraser to remove her name from the poster.  She then wonders what Jodie would say about the way that she has behaved.

Just then, Jodie walks in, having overheard what Muffy just said.  “Well, Muffy, I think Jodie would say something like, ‘Dry your eyes, and let’s see if we can’t find a way to make things better.'”

Muffy admits her wrongs and her worries.  “I’ve been an awful mouse today.  I cheated and chased Sam away.  He won’t want me anymore.  I might have to leave the store!”

Jodie reassures Muffy that no one is going to kick her out, because friends don’t do that, but agrees that she did behave badly.  “You were so set on winning this contest that you were willing to cheat, and that really hurt Sam’s feelings.”

Muffy acknowledges this, but when Jodie asks what she should do about it, Muffy doesn’t know.  Jodie suggests asking us about it.  “Muffy really hurt Sam’s feelings today,” she tells us.  “What do you think she should do about it?”  We suggest that she apologize.  “Yeah.  I think she should apologize to Sam, too.”

“An apology!” Muffy says.  “Now there’s a thought.  It’s the only chance this mouse has got.  I hope Sam will forgive me.  I’d better go ask and see.”

“Good luck, Muffy!” says Jodie.

Back in the Computer Room, Sam is knitting.  He’s still upset about Muffy, and is working his frustrations out by knitting.  He then discovers a big hole in the item that he is knitting, much to his disappointment.  He then feels someone tugging on his arm, and asks who it is.

“It’s me, Muffy Mouse, alias the louse.”

Sam tells Muffy that he’s kind of busy, but Muffy is undaunted.

“I owe you an apology.  I don’t know what came over me.  I wanted to win the prize in the worst way, so I said some awful things to you today.”

Sam agrees that she did, reminding her of what she said earlier.

Muffy continues, “I don’t blame you if you’re sore, and you don’t love me anymore.”  She then begins to cry.

Sam pleads for Muffy not to cry.  “You know I can’t stand it when critters cry!” he says.  He then turns to us and asks, “Muffy does seem really sorry for what she did today.  Do you think I ought to forgive her?”

TXL chimes in, “Friends should forgive friends.”

Sam agrees, and agrees to forgive her, offering her a handkerchief to blow her nose.  When she blows, the hat pops off of Sam’s head.  “That’s my friend Muffy!” he says with a chuckle.

Next, we see the Mime Lady, who is working on another dinosaur drawing.  This one is of a triceratops.  TXL explains that the name comes from the three horns.  The Mime initially mimes playing a trumpet, but TXL clarifies that she is referring to the three horns on the dinosaur’s face.  After she counts the horns, the Mime resumes her horn playing.

TXL then asks us about what it would be like if we had a dinosaur for a pet.  Where would it sleep?  What would it eat?  What kind of games could you play with a pet dinosaur?

Back in the Children’s Department, Jodie, Sam, and Muffy are working on a dinosaur drawing together, as as Jeff explains what happened.  “Well, as you can see, things are getting back to normal around here.  Muffy and Sam are friends again.  That’s a relief.  Oh, and the four of us decided to work on a new dinosaur drawing for the contest.  I don’t know if it’s good enough to win any prizes or anything, but… maybe winning isn’t as important as having friends and working together.  I know that’s what Muffy found out today.”  Jeff then excuses himself and goes back over to help with the new dinosaur drawing.


Quizzes:

  • Which skeleton belongs to the Brontosaurus?
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