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"Fern and the Case of the Stolen Story"
Season/Series: 16
Number in season: 9a
Original Airdate: United States May 9, 2013[1]
United Kingdom April 23, 2013[2]
Australia December 20, 2012[3]
Written by: Craig Carlisle
Storyboard by: Jeremy O'Neill
"On the Buster Scale"
"Sue Ellen Vegges Out"
Read transcript

"Fern and the Case of the Stolen Story" is the first half of the ninth episode in the sixteenth season of Arthur.


The unthinkable has happened! Fern has writer's block! Fortunately, Ladonna is full of stories. Faced with a tight deadline, Fern plans to "borrow" the tales and simply change the names. Has Fern confused right and wrong?[4]


In the introduction, Arthur mentions that Fern has more stories to tell than anybody. At the moment, however, she is out of ideas, just when Muffy invites her to Muffy’s Fiction Forum which will have a famous writer as a guest. In Fern’s fantasy, she appears at the forum with blank pages and the famous guest, William Shakespeare, calls her a fraud.

Fern and the Case of the Stolen Story

Ladonna invites Fern to play catch. When she hears about Fern’s problem, she mentions that she never writes her stories down, but tells Fern a story featuring her Aunt Mabel, ponchos, a mysterious bingo champion, and a jet pack.

At the fiction forum, Fern tells a detective story, in which Watteau and Bastings are looking for missing Bingo prizes. They discover that the Grey Dove stole the prizes for Aunt Sabel, who paid him with ponchos. She also made him stop playing Bingo so that she could be champion. She tries to escape with a jet pack, but Watteau brings her down with a well-aimed baseball.

The kids like Fern’s story. Since the famous guest is unable to come, Muffy decides to hold another forum the next day and asks Fern to write another story. Ladonna accuses Fern of stealing her story. Fern argues that she changed Mabel to Sabel and made the story into a mystery. Ladonna still thinks that Fern should have asked for permission, since she might decide to write a story herself. Fern offers to help Ladonna with writing and Ladonna tells about her uncle Silas and a talking parrot.

Fern cannot come up with a new story. She has a fantasy of Shakespeare who tells her that she has writer’s block. Fern tries to call Ladonna, but she is already asleep.

At the next fiction forum, Fern tells the story how Watteau and Bastings retrieve a stolen parrot in the Congolese jungle. They find the bird with the clown Cyrus, who wanted to protect it from the Grey Dove. The Grey Dove manages to steal it from him, but Fern incapacitates the thief with a thrown novelty arrow.

A peeved Ladonna retaliates by telling a story about the cat burglar Ferg who steals stories from a woman named Ladella. Fern stops her and both girls start making up stories featuring the other. Muffy tells them that those stories are dull. Eventually, Fern admits taking Ladonna’s ideas, although she did not think of it as stealing. She apologizes. Ladonna offers to work as a team.

The episode finishes with the famous guest writer, Ed Crosswire, reading from his autobiography.






  • Fern broke the fourth wall at the beginning of the episode when she asked for an idea from the viewers.

Episode connections

Cultural references


  • When Fern finds The Grey Dove, the audience hears him cackle, but his mouth isn't shown moving.
  • When Watteau pronounces ‘hunch’ as ‘oonch’, the Grey Dove repeats it with a French ‘u’-sound, even though he does not know which word Watteau is trying to say.


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