(Episode opens with D.W. playing a video game.)
Arthur: [to audience] You know how people get carries away with things sometimes? Like when D.W. played "Hippo Hunt" for four days straight?
(Cut to gym at school.)
Arthur: [catches basketball from hoop] Or when Francine tried to make a hundred baskets in a row? [tosses ball to Francine]
Francine: [dribbles ball] Here goes number 73!
(She shoots, but misses.)
Francine: Wait, that one didn't count!
(Cut to Arthur and Buster watching a dinosaur movie at a theater)
Arthur: Well, now Buster's gone crazy for... dinosaurs!
(Dinosaur onscreen roars at the people in the theater; everyone screams except Buster.)
Buster: [taps Arthur on the shoulder] Wow, Arthur! Did you see that?!
Arthur: [dazed] Uh-huh. Amazing. [turns to camera] Buster's especially excited because on Wednesday, our class is going on a field trip--
(Something onscreen {not shown to the audience} causes Arthur to scream.)
(Cut to classroom at school.)
Mr. Ratburn: Rainbow Rock State Park, where we will hunt for fossils of ancient animals, including-- [with emphasis] --dinosaurs.
Buster: [stands up] Yes!
(Title card is shown.)
(Open to the entrance of Rainbow Rock Park. Mr. Ratburn and his class are getting off the bus.)
Mr. Ratburn: Everyone, please file out in an orderly fashion.
Binky: [imitating dinosaur] Triceratops! Grrrrr! [hops off bus]
Alex: [fiercely] T-Rex! Rooooar!
(Buster gets off bus, wearing professional-looking digging gear.)
Buster: So, when I've discovered this new dinosaur, what should I call it? Busterasaurus? Busterdon? [looks behind him] Hey, where did we put the chisels?
(Arthur gets off bus, carrying all of the heavy equipment on his back.)
Arthur: [grunts] Got 'em.
Buster: What about the brushes?
Arthur: Got 'em.
Buster: What about the--
Arthur: [annoyed] Got 'em.
(Cut to front entrance. The children are running around, shrieking like dinosaurs.)
Mr. Ratburn: [clears throat] Children. If you could all quiet down?
(They pay no attention.)
Mr. Ratburn: QUIET!!!
(They stop and look at him.)
Mr. Ratburn: Follow me.
(Cut to inside main building. Mr. Ratburn is introducing the class to a lady dressed in clothes similar to Buster's.)
Mr. Ratburn: This is Ranger Ruth. She's going to tell us a thing or two about fossils before we go out and explore for ourselves.
Ranger Ruth: Hi, kids!
(The class starts talking all at the same time.)
Ranger Ruth: Don't you look like a smart bunch of boys and girls. Can any of you tell me what a fossil is?
(Buster and The Brain raise their hands.)
Ranger Ruth: You there. With the ears!
Buster: It's the calcified remains of ancient organisms. Minerals seep into their tissue and harden, preserving the forms of their bodies.
Ranger Ruth: [to Mr. Ratburn] Count on me to pick the class genius.
(Mr. Ratburn laughs as if to say, "If you only knew.")
Ranger Ruth: Well, for the rest of you boys and girls, we have a little show. Lights!
(The lights are turned off.)
The Brain: [to Buster] Psst. Buster! That was awesome! [gives Buster a high-five]
(Ranger Ruth speaks through a loudspeaker on the wall.)
Ranger Ruth: A hundred million years ago, Rainbow Rock State Park looked very different.
(Spotlights turn on to reveal before the class, a stage with representations of dinosaurs and the environment in which they lived. Actors portraying animals come onto the stage as Ranger Ruth speaks.)
Ranger Ruth: It was much hotter. There were a lot of ferns. And different insects. And even--dinosaurs!
Class: Yay! Yeah!
Ranger Ruth: Eventually, the ferns and animals would die.
(the actors in the dinosaur costume split apart making the kids laugh. Mr. Ratburn comes in.)
Mr. Ratburn: QUIET!
Ranger Ruth: Thank you. Now usually, the bodies would rot away. But very, very rarely, the hard parts of the bodies like shells and bones would last. Many years later, this whole area was covered by the sea. Over millions of years, the soil turned to rock, and the bones and shells turned to rock too. Then the sea dries up, and a hundred million years later, the result is--
(She motions to a reconstruction of a dinosaur skeleton. The class gasps in amazement, and then claps as the lights come back on.)
Ranger Ruth: So, who wants to go on a fossil hunt?
Class: Yeah!
(Cut to a stream in a narrow gulch, with red cliffs on either side. The class is walking down a wooden path to the stream.)
Buster: Man, I can't wait to get my hands on one of those fossils!
(Camera pans to Arthur behind him.)
Arthur: I like the models better. I like to see what the dinosaurs really looked like.
Buster: Yeah, but there's something about a fossil. I mean, it's the actual thing, you know? The actual bone of something that was alive millions of years ago!
Ranger Ruth: Listen up, everyone! You see the layers in this rock? [points to the cliff] Each layer was formed at a different time. The ones at the bottom are from the Cretaceous period, which was... [motions to Buster]
Buster: A hundred thirty six million years ago!
Ranger Ruth [surprised] Very good! The top layers are from about 20 million years later. So we can tell how old a fossil is by where it is in the cliff.
Muffy: [scratches her head] How are we supposed to get fossils out of a cliff when all we have are these little buckets? [holds up a plastic bucket she was given]
Ranger Ruth: Oh, you kids aren't hunting in the cliffs. That's for real paleontologists. You kids get to hunt in the stream!
Francine: In the stream? Alright! [is the first to get in the water] The water's great! [takes a rock out of the water] Hey look, I found a fossil! Oh, no, wait. It's a rock. Hey, here's one!
(Time passes. The kids are still searching.)
Mr. Ratburn: [to Arthur and Buster, who are looking long after the others have finished] My, you boys certainly are diligent. Have you found any fossils?
Arthur and Buster: [together] No.
Mr. Ratburn: Oh. Terribly sorry. Well, we're going to take a break for a snack now, and then it'll be time to head back to the bus. See you up on shore. [wades out of water]
Arthur: Well, looks like it's time to head in. Man, I'm bushed.
Buster: [taking a rock out of the water] I'm gonna keep looking until we have to go.
Arthur: Huh? [Looks over at the rest of the class, breaking for a snack] But they've got soda!
Buster: There are fossils here. You can drink soda anytime. [keeps looking in water]
Arthur: [annoyed] Buster, come on! What do you expect to find in ten more minutes? You think you're just going to reach into the water and pick one up?
(Without looking, Arthur, takes a rock out of the water. The rock has a footprint shape in it, but Arthur doesn't see because he is looking at Buster. Buster stares at the rock incredulously.)
Arthur: Buster, are you okay?
(Buster keeps staring.)
Arthur: Buster, quit it, you're making me nervous!
(Buster wades toward Arthur as if in a daze.)
Arthur: What is it!?
(Arthur leans back as Buster tries to grab for the fossil. He drops it into the stream, and Buster dives after it. Buster goes through the rocks he finds at the bottom, trying to find the right one, and tosses the rejects carelessly in Arthur's direction.)
Arthur: Buster? Ow! Have you gone nuts?
Buster: [holding up the fossil] I found it! It's here!
Arthur: Found what? Let me see. I found it first. [takes a look at the fossil] Oh, wow, it's a leaf fossil!
Buster: [enraged] A leaf fossil? A LEAF fossil?!? Have you ever seen a leaf that thick? [calming down] Arthur, this is... a footprint.
(Cut to the picnic area.)
Ranger Ruth: Alright, let's all go around and talk about the fossils we found.
The Brain: We managed to recover what seems to be a fossilized shell. [hands the fossil to Ranger Ruth]
Ranger Ruth: Well, alright! It looks like a marginella. [puts it in a bag]
Buster: Wait! You mean we don't get to keep them?
Ranger Ruth: Oh! Didn't I explain? We put the fossils in the museum, so other children can come and see them. If people took them all home, there'd be none left. Who's next?
Francine: We didn't really find any fossils. But we found some neat rocks!
Buster: [thinking, silently] I can't believe it. I can't believe they would do that to me.
Ranger Ruth: That's okay. I'm sure you tried hard. Next?
Buster: Uh, we didn't find anything either.
Arthur: [to Buster, whispering] What do you mean, we--
(Buster slaps his hand over his mouth.)
Ranger Ruth: Well, that's the way it goes sometimes.
Buster: It's okay, We had fun anyway.
Arthur: [whispering again] We're never gonna get away with this.
(The class starts walking up the wooden path. Arthur and Buster linger behind.)
Arthur: But Buster, it isn't ours. It belongs in the museum.
Buster: We found it, didn't we?
Arthur: But what if they search us on the way out? What if they have some special fossil detector alarm?
Ranger Ruth: [appearing in front of them, speaking to Buster] Hey, genius. I wanted to make sure you weren't too discouraged. You have the makings of a real paleontologist.
(Ranger Ruth pats Buster on the head; he is keeping the fossil under his hat. She walks away to join the rest of the class.)
Arthur: She knows.
Buster: Don't be silly.
(Cut to the main building, with Ranger Ruth saying goodbye to the class as they leave.)
Ranger Ruth: Bye now! G'bye! See ya! Have fun! Goodbye!
(Buster and Arthur see her briefly turn into a tyrannosaurus as she says goodbye to them.)
Ranger Ruth: Bye-bye now!
(She transforms back. They exit the building. Cut to Buster and Arthur on the bus back.)
Arthur: So, who can we tell about the--the thing. Can we tell Francine?
Buster: No! It's too dangerous. You have to keep is a secret.
(The bus drops Buster off at his house. Looking around nervously, he enters the condominium. In his room, he wraps the fossil in tissue paper, drops it into a bag, and puts the bag in a box of marbles. He puts the box on the top shelf in his closet.)
(Cut to Buster havving dinner with his mother.)
Bitzi: Did you find any nice fossils on your field trip, dear?
Buster: [nervous] Uh, n-n-no. Nothing in particular!
(Next morning at school, before class.)
Arthur: [to Buster] So when can I come over and see it?
Buster: We can't take it out! It's too dangerous. What if my mom came in?
Arthur: But Buster, what's the point of having it if we can't even take a look at it ourselves?
(Mr. Ratburn enters the room.)
Mr. Ratburn: I hope everyone enjoyed our field trip, even if the fossils you found weren't as spectacular as actual dinosaur fossils.
(Arthur starts to raise his hand, but Buster elbows him.)
Mr. Ratburn: But, they are extremely rare. It would have been truly miraculous if you had discovered any dinosaur bones or teeth, or even rarer, dinosaur footprints.
(We hear a thump. The camera then shows that Buster has fainted.)
(Cut to that night. Buster is in his room, doing his homework. Buster hears a knock on the door.)
Buster: [nervously] Who is it?
Female voice: Fossil police!
(The door is broken down, and behind it are Ranger Ruth and a policeman. Ranger Ruth walks into Buster's room and looks behind her. Arthur steps into view.)
Arthur: I'm sorry, Buster! They made me tell. They tickled me!
Ranger Ruth: [authoritatively] We have reason to believe you're hiding a dinosaur in this room!
Buster: B-b-b-but that's ridiculous! How could--
(They hear roars and stomping sounds coming from the closet.)
Ranger Ruth: What's that noise?
(A dinosaur breaks out of the closet. Buster screams, and then wakes up, realizing he was dreaming. He sits up in bed and looks at the closet. Cut to Arthur's bedroom window. Pebbles are being thrown at the window; Arthur wakes up. He puts on his glasses and goes over to the window.)
Buster: [from sidewalk, holding the box of marbles] Arthur! Down here!
(Arthur walks outside, yawning.)
Buster: Here. You take it.
Arthur: Keep it, I don't want it!
Buster: But I've gotta get rid of it. It's making me crazy! I thought it'd be so great having this milion-year-old thing all to myself, but it's driving me nuts! And now I can't even look at it! [sets box down on ground]
Arthur: It doesn't belong here.
Buster: So, where does it belong?
(Cut to Arthur's kitchen. Arthur is holding the fossil in his hand and talking on the phone.)
Arthur: Hello, is this Ranger Ruth?
(Cut to museum.)
Professor: [to Buster and Arthur] So, we're still not sure. Dr. Marsh thinks it's the footprint of a baby Dasplitasaurus, but Dr. Koch think's it's an adult Sealosaur.
Buster: Thanks for keeping us up to date!
Ranger Ruth: How do you kids like the nameplate we put up?
(She motions to a shelf behind her with the fossil on it. Arthur reads the nameplate beside it aloud.)
Arthur: Dinosaur footprint. Discovered by Buster Baxter and Arthur Read.
(Buster gives Arthur a high-five. Fade out. The end credits roll.)

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