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"Fern's Flights of Fancy"
Season/Series: 20 (US)
Number in season: 2a
Original Airdate: United States October 11, 2016[citation needed]
United Kingdom November 14, 2018[1]
Written by: Peter K. Hirsch
Storyboard by: Gerry Capelle
"Arthur and the Whole Truth"
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"Fern's Flights of Fancy" is the first half of the second episode in the twentieth season of Arthur.


Will Fern give up her dreams of becoming a writer just because of one silly rejection?


Buster shows Fern an flyer for a writing contest, in which the winner gets their story published in the Elwood City Times. Francine and Buster encourage her, and Fern imagines being famous and Marc Brown attending her book signing.

Fern's Flights of Fancy

Fern thinks that she will not win the contest, and that she writes for fun and not contests. She decides to enter anyways, wanting people to read her story and not caring about the results. Fern reads her story to George:

In the story, an old man is friends with birds, whom he can communicate with. His niece makes him move in with her, planning to sell his house. The house has no windows, and the old man is given applesauce, a TV, and word jumbles. He saves the bread that his niece gives him on special occasions, and pretends to be sick. While his niece is calling the doctor, the old man runs outside and summons the birds, who lift him into the sky.

George enjoys the story, and Fern submits it. When the Elwood City Times arrive, Beulah McInnerny is the winner. Fern decides to give up on writing and plays soccer instead. As the goalie, she is distracted by a bird and does not block the ball. George references the story she wrote, and Fern responds that she does not want to hear about it. George shows Fern some magazines she could submit her story to, and she responds that she has already destroyed the story.

George visits the Elwood City Times building and asks Harry Mills if he can publish the story for Fern. Harry responds that he did like the story and that Fern is a great writer, but that the other judges liked different stories better.

Fern practices soccer techniques, and is interrupted by George. George sees the ripped-up story in her trash can and pastes it together at his house. While playing soccer, Fern daydreams about being a machine and a great player, and George talks to Francine.

Fern considers switching hobbies as she sees The Frensky Star on her table. She sees her story published in it, and is mad at George and goes to talk to him. On the way to George's house, she passes Muffy, Arthur, and Buster, who all have read the story and compliment it. Fern is angry that George submitted her story without her permission, and George admits that he did it because he really liked the story and thinks Fern is talented. Fern tells him the he left out the best part of the story: the dedication, to George Lundgren.






Episode connections

Cultural references

  • Fern's imaginary novel Portrait of the Aardvark as a Young Man is likely a reference to James Joyce's first novel Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
  • Arthur creator Marc Brown has a cameo as himself. Fern apparently recognizes him.
  • The old man's word jumble contains the words heron, cardinal, quail, dove, wren, kite, duck, mynah, puffin and swallow.




External links