Story Cue Card
Bibliographic Information (best for storytelling):
“Arthur.” Gladys Coggswell (personal communication, October 4, 2003).
Missouri, United States
Approx. 10 minutes
Arthur is going to camp tomorrow and he can’t wait to get away from his mom for two weeks. When he gets there he knows immediately that he and his camp counselor (Mrs. Murphy) are not going to get along. On the first night of camp Arthur sneaks out of the cabin and decides to play a prank on Mrs. Murphy. Out in the woods he finds a green glowing thing that scratches him and bites him, leaving a tooth in his wrist, and then slimes on his hand causing his skin to bubble up. When he takes the green glowing thing he hears a strange voice saying “There’s an eyeball and I can’t find it.” When he gets to Mrs. Murphy’s cabin he looks in the window and sees her head sitting on the dresser looking out the window at him and it only has one eye! He takes off running and before he knows it he wakes up laying on the ground and it’s morning. His cabin mates are calling for him and when he opens his eyes Mrs. Murphy is standing over him asking what he is doing there. She tells him to hurry and pack his things because it’s time to go home. Arthur is confused because he thought he was supposed to stay at camp for two weeks and he just got here yesterday. And how could Mrs. Murphy look normal? When Arthur gets home he unpacks his suitcase and finds the green slimy thing and decides to play a trick on his mom that night. He waits until she goes to bed and sneaks downstairs to her room. Knowing his mom has a “weak” bladder and that she will eventually get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, Arthur places the green slimy thing in one of her house slippers. Then he creeps back out of her room into the hallway to sit on the stairs and wait until she gets up. Then he hears a voice again talking about that eyeball, except this time it adds “It might be near. I think it’s right here!” Arthur is scared and starts to run up the stairs to jump back in his bed. His mom gets up and when she puts on her house slippers the green slimy thing explodes and green goo is all over her face and her nightgown. She screams and wakes up Arthur’s dad who wants to know what has happened. Her face is bubbling up and she starts to turn ugly as the goo is running all over her skin. Just then, she screams, “ARTHUR!” He knows he’s in trouble and he opens his eyes to realize it’s morning and he’s in his bed. “Arthur,” his mom says, “Time to get up and get ready to go to camp.” He’s confused and then realizes it was just a dream. But when he gets to camp and goes to registration in the camp office, he meets his camp counselor, who is none other than – Mrs. Murphy.
“There’s an eyeball, and I can’t find it”
“There’s an eyeball, and I can’t find it. It may be near. I think it’s right here.”
Children to young adolescents – If told whereas Arthur is a child, elementary age children can relate to Arthur as many children go to camp in the summer time; Arthur’s imagination really seems to get the best of him as does the imagination of many children (Erikson); just as children’s sense of time is rudimentary (Huck) Arthur’s sense of time is confusing as he’s not sure how much time has actually elapsed;
If told where as Arthur is a young adolescent, this is appropriate for young adults who are looking for emotional and physical distance from their parents (Rapp, Havighurst) as Arthur goes away to camp; as adolescents often look for reasons to be rebellious or defiant (Fenwick), so does Arthur look for ways to get into trouble by “getting” Mrs. Murphy and his kid sister;
Brief Comparison of Versions/Variants:
The version presented here is the original. In order to make the story appropriate for a young adult audience I have changed Arthur from a 7 or 8 year old boy to a 12 or 13 year old boy. Instead of being excited about camp because it’s camp (as in the original), Arthur is more excited about camp because that means he gets to get away from his parents and his little kid sister for a week. Also, when Arthur returns home from camp instead of playing a trick on his mother (as in the original), Arthur plays a trick on his little sister, who is a more believable target for a middle school-aged boy. And instead of having a “weak” bladder, the little sister gets up in the middle of the night to get a drink of milk.