(Recently discovered script for the pilot episode of a children’s adventure series, set to run as part of NBC’s slate of live-action programming. Based on the book Eine Schnecke Namens Sparki [A Slug Named Sparky] by Hans L. Grettel)
(Theme song: “They call him Sparky! Sparky! Sparky the slu-hug! They call him Sparkyyyyy! Sparky the slug!!!”)
(Scene One: Little Bobby Penderwhump is seen playing with his faithful pet slug, Sparky, out in the Penderwhump’s back forty. Cheery music.)
Bobby: Gee, Sparky, it sure is great to be on summer vacation, huh?
Bobby: You bet it is, boy. And it sure is a beautiful day, isn’t it, Sparky?
Bobby: You can say that again! Hey, let’s play a game! Fetch the ball, Sparky!
Bobby: Gee, Sparky, the ball went in the old well! And that’s my last Super Pinky!
Bobby: I know, Sparky! I’ll just lower myself down on the old bucket rope! What could possibly go wrong? You stay here and hold the handle while I grab the roooooooooooooooope
Bobby: Sparky! I’m trapped in the well! And my ankle’s twisted! And I have ADD! Maybe shingles too! And I can’t stop using exclamation points! Get help, Sparky!
(Sparky turns and races away at high speed.)
(Scene Two: Back at the Double Bar Hook “At” Sign Umlaut Ranch. Soothy music.)
Mrs. Penderwhump: Gee, John, I wonder where Bobby and Sparky are. I haven’t seen them since Thursday.
Mr. Penderwhump: Oh, don’t worry about it, old gal. You know that boy. He’s probably just up to some mischief.
Mrs. Penderwhump: Like the time he tied little Nellie to the train tracks? (Laughs)
Mr. Penderwhump: (Laughing) He’s all boy, that one. Hey, is there any more of that Jim Beam left?
Mrs. Penderwhump: I got you a case at the general store today.
Mr. Penderwhump: Good. It’s the only way I can stand your cooking.
(Camera pans toward Mrs. Penderwhump, who, despite her carefree demeanor, seems to suspect that something is wrong. Soft dramatic music.)
(Scene Three: In the well. Softer dramaticker music.)
Bobby: Gosh, I sure hope Sparky brings help soon! I’ve only got 8,000 gallons of water and two bites of Super Pinky left!
(Scene Four: Sparky hurtles along for thirty minutes. Music: “Yakity Sax.” Suddely he comes upon a fearsome dilemma: a salt lick! Sparky screeches to a halt, and, two hours later, manages to crawl around it.)
(Scene Five: Back at the ranch)
Mrs. Penderwhump: You know, sugarlump, I’m starting to get worried.
Mr. Penderwhump: Have another drink and shut up.
Mrs. Penderwhump: I mean it, John, blast your eyes!
Mr. Penderwhump: Okay, okay. If Bobby’s not back by this time next week I’ll go look for him.
Mrs. Penderwhump: If only his father were here!
Mr. Penderwhump: If— Hey! What the hell?
Mrs. Penderwhump: That poor little tyke! I sure hope he’s all right!
(Loud dramatic music.)
(Scene Six: In the well)
Bobby: Golly, I can’t subsist on water and cheap rubber much longer! I hope Sparky makes it!
(Scene Seven: Sparky crests a hill. The farmhouse is in sight. Music: high drama. Sparky barrels toward the house. He arrives just as Mr. Penderwhump’s deadline is up.)
Mr. Penderwhump: Okay, okay, I said I’d go look for the little bast— Why, look! It’s Bobby’s pet slug, Sparky!
Mrs. Penderwhump: Thank heaven! Sparky, is something wrong?
Mr. Penderwhump: Give him room on the rug. I think he’s trying to write something.
(Scene Eight: The following afternoon.)
Mr. Penderwhump: “Bobby is in the we.” The we?
Mrs. Penderwhump: Not the we, you silly inebriated jackass! See? He’s writing an L! Bobby’s in the well!
Mr. Penderwhump: Holy slappin’ catfish! Let’s go, boy!
(Scene Nine: Mr. Penderwhump and Sparky race across the fields. Sparky outpaces the aged Mr. Penderwhump considerably.)
(Scene Ten: In the well.)
Bobby: If this show gets picked up I’ll probably have to do this crap every week.
Bobby: Hey, that sounded like Sparky! Could it be?
Mr. Penderwhump: You down there, Bobby?
Bobby: Yeah, Dad! Help!
(Mr. Penderwhump lowers the rope to Bobby, and drains his bottle while Bobby climbs up. Triumphant music.)
Bobby: Thanks a lot, Dad.
Mr. Penderwhump: Could a sworn I had another bottle on me.
Bobby: I couldn’t have survived much longer on Super Pinky.
Mr. Penderwhump: Better than your mother’s cooking, anyway.
Bobby: And thanks to you too, Sparky! You saved me!
Bobby: Come on, boy! Speak!
Sparky: Aw, for Pete’s sake, I’m just a dumb animal! Quit anthropomorphizing, will ya!
Bobby: Gee, Sparky, you sure are smart.
(The three of them schlep home while a voiceover sings the Sparky closing theme: “Happy Trails to You.”)