Lost Episode--The Favorite Story Never Told
by Joe Gritton

(This is a story written by a fan of the Andy Griffith Show in 2000. It is intended as enjoyment for other fans of the show, who know the characters so well, they can imagine seeing it as they read .)

[The plans are for Andy, Barney, and Opie to go fishing together on a Saturday morning. Opie bounces out of bed before dawn with excitement for the day ahead. Andy is packing up his tackle box in the kitchen as Aunt Bee roams around the kitchen half-awake, and still in her robe, packing the usual picnic basket full of lunch and goodies. Opie pops into the kitchen as Andy pours a cup of coffee and Aunt Bee is searching for some napkins to put in the basket.]

Aunt Bee: (to herself) Now where are those napkins? I just had them!

Opie: I'm ready Paw! You Ready? Let's go get Barney and get out there while its still dark.

Andy: Well, aren't you gonna eat any breakfast there boy, you can't fish on an empty stomach.

Opie: Oh, I just figured I'd grab a glass of juice and eat a Mr. Cookie bar on the way. Aunt Bee usually packs 'em so Barney can have one when his stomach clock goes off. Did you pack them Aunt Bee?

Aunt Bee: Oh for goodness sake, one thing at a time. Andy could you look in the basket for me? I just don't know where...

Andy: Yep, right-chere are the Mr. Cookie bars, they are under the NAPKINS here in the basket.

Aunt Bee: Well good, then I only have to find the...what did you say?

Andy: The napkins are right here Aunt Bee. You're so efficient you even outsmarted yourself this time.

Aunt Bee: Oh Fibblegizzit, I'm not awake yet. Just take your stuff and go on, now Opie don't spill that juice in the squad car, and Andy make sure Barney eats something early so he doesn't get a headache.

Andy: (reaches over to give Aunt Bee a hug) Good Bye Aunt Bee. You go back to bed and have a nice rest, ya' hear.

Opie: (already outside) C'mon Paw, Barney's probably waitin' G'bye Aunt Bee. Love Ya, Have a nice day..


[Andy stops the squad car in from of Mrs. Mendlebright's rooming house. Barney is not out front as expected, so Andy gives a tap on the horn. Still no Barney...but Andy sees a hand motioning to him from inside a window. Andy goes to the door and Mrs. Mendlebright is standing in her house coat with her hair up in curlers]

Mrs. Mendlebright: Sheriff come quick, Barney's stuck!

Andy: He's what! Stuck where?

Mrs. Mendlebright: You come look, he won't let me in. [She leads Andy to a narrow door to the bathroom. Andy knocks on the door.]

Andy: Barney, You alright? Its Andy. (a sound can be heard from inside)

[Andy opens the door just a bit and slips through the opening. He struggles to contain himself, as a helpless Barney standing on his knees strains to get his hand dislodged from the commode. He is in his pajamas with large polka dots. His hair in standing straight up, either from a rough night's sleep, or the struggle involving his mishap. His face is half-covered with shaving cream.]

Barney: I know this looks bad Andy, please don't tell anyone what happened, I would just die if anyone else found out.

[Just then Opie sticks his head in.]

Opie: Mrs. Mendlebright says Gomer's on his way with a monkey wrench. Boy, what happened Paw? Did Barney fall in?

Barney: No I didn't FALL IN!. This is just great, the kid knows, soon Gomer will know, then that blabbermouth Laura Lee Hobbs will know and then everyone in town will be sayin' (sarcastic tone) "Barney Fife was playin' in the bathroom bowl and got stuck."

Andy: But Barney, we don't know anything to tell, you didn't tell us what happened. (smiling) Couldn't you wait 'til we got to the lake to uh.. go fishin?

Barney: That's it, go ahead and make jokes. I may be stuck here for days but you laugh, funny man. Why don't you go paint smiley faces on the tombstones down the street, I'll bet you could make the dead laugh, you're so funny. I was trying to keep from waking Mrs. Mendlebright. The light bulb popped so I went to get my penlight. When I came back, I stubbed my toe, stumbled and dropped it in the water. The more I reached for it, the farther it seem to go back. Andy, you gotta get me outa here. My hand is cold and pruney.

Andy: Here let me help you pull.

[As Andy grabs Barney's arm, he places the other hand on the toilet tank for leverage, and he accidentally flushes.]

Barney: (makes painful face) AURGHHHH! Its pullin' me in.

Opie: Don't Flush 'em Paw, He's your only deputy!

[As Barney pulls back from the rushing water, to keep his pajamas from getting even more wet, his hand is dislodged, and he falls to a sitting position on the floor.]

Andy: Sorry Barn, well at least your out, now.

Barney: (whining) but my penlight!

Opie: There it is Barney.

[Opie reaches in and easily picks it up, and shakes off the water. There is a knock at the door.]

Mrs. Mendlebright: Mr. Fife are you out?? I have to use the washroom. If you put the lid down like I asked you, you wouldn't be in this mess.

[Barney grabs a towel and wipes himself off as they walk out.]

Barney: (to Mrs. Mendlebright) If you didn't have such cheap 40 watt bulbs, I wouldn't be in this mess either! (to Andy) You and Opie go ahead Andy; I'm not ready, and now I don't feel like going anywhere but back to bed.

Andy: You too, huh? Well if your sure....We'll see ya later.

[As Andy and Opie walk out of the house, Gomer pulls up.]

Andy: False alarm Gomer, Barney's fine.

Gomer: Are you sure Andy. Mrs. Mendlebright called and said "come quick, Barney's a clog in the bathroom."

Andy: She probably meant he's a CLOD. He dropped a bunch of stuff and had to pick it all up.

Gomer: (Contorted face) People sure are odd, What did she think he needed a monkey wrench for then.

Opie: Because he got his hand stuck in...(Andy covers Opie's mouth with his hand)

Andy: We'll see ya later Gomer, Thanks anyway.


[The next scene is of Andy and Opie at either end of the rowboat. The lake is serene. The sun is just breaking through the dawn haze. Birds can be heard in the distance. Andy watches his bobber while taking a sip of coffee. Opie keeps an eye on his line as he slowly cranks it in, trying to attract a fish.]

Andy: Wouldja look at that sunrise Ope!

Opie: Gosh, have you ever seen anything more beautiful?

Andy: Well I just don't know that I have. Look at the reflection of the sun on the water.

Opie: Just like a pichure postcard, ain't it Paw.

Andy: It shore is for a fact..And just you and me here together... a Paw and his son..What could be better? ...Hey Ope, look at your bobber!

[Opie gives his pole a jerk as he sees his bobber disappear under the water. He starts reeling and grins broadly feeling that knowing tug on his line. ]

Opie: I hope she's a whopper!

[As the bobber draws closer, with Opie still reeling in line, the fish surfaces still flopping wildly on the hook at the end. Opie's grin drops as he sees that his catch is a very small fish.]

Andy: Boy, he was a fighter for a little fella wasn't he?

[Andy reaches over to help Opie remove the the small fish from his hook. He throws the fish back out into the lake.]

Andy: You're too small little feller, go send us back your mama.

[Opie re-baits his hook and casts his line out into the lake again.]

Andy: Yessir, its a perfect day, You and me are gonna have fun.

[Opie has a serious look now as he stares out at the bobber.]

Opie: Hey Paw?

Andy: Yeah Ope.

Opie: Did Maw ever fish with you?

[Opie stares at the empty bench between them]

[Andy's bright smile turns serious. He rests his rod and reel on the boat seat, runs his hand back through his hair, opens his mouth, but nothing comes out for a moment.]

Andy: Ahh, yes she did son. We went fishin together many a time. Why do you ask son?

Opie: Oh I just wondered what it would be like for her to be here fishin with us too.

[Andy scoots up to where he can put his arm around Opie]

Andy: Opie, it would be the best thing ever. It would be more special than you can imagine. I'm sorry....I'm just so sorry that we'll never get to experience that.

[Opie reaches to hug Andy back as they both fight back tears.]

Opie: It's OK Paw. I'm just curious to know about about her. Did she like baitin' hooks? could she cast as good as you? Did she hum like you do when you're relaxing...those kinda things.

Andy: You know what? Those are great questions, and I've put off this talk too long. Now let's start here with the fishin part and when we get home, I'll pull out some pictures and books and momentos and we'll just get you up to speed on her all together, OK? Me and Aunt Bee have been thinkin about having this talk for a long time. We just need to have that talk. Aunt Bee's been tellin' me we need to have that talk.

[Opie nods a grinning nod as Andy begins.]

Andy: She didn't mind baitin' hooks at all. Now she couldn't cast as far as I can, but boy she could drop that hook right over a ripple where a fish just jumped. Why if she was a little quicker she coulda hit that fish in the head with her sinker.

Opie: (giggles) Was fishin' her favorite thing to do too Paw?

Andy: Well no, I wouldn't go that far. I think she learned to like it because she knew I enjoyed it so much....Now see her favorite thing was to take long walks in the country.

Opie: Just go for walks. What's fun about that? (Opie recasts his line out into the water)

Andy: Well ya see Ope, she loved living things like flowers, and squirrels, and rabbits, all kinds of plants, but mainly flowers. She could tell you what every kinda flower was, whether it was in front of somebody's house, or growing wild in the woods.

Opie: And you liked the walks too, Paw?

Andy: Well, lets just say I learned to like them because I saw how much enjoyment it brought to her. That's what happens when two people care very much for each other.

Opie: I hope I marry a girl that likes football. I could learn to like that too...and maybe I'd take 'er to a game and buy us some ice cream.

Andy: Well, That would be nice, but don't get your hopes up on your girl likin' football. She might like ballet. Girls like stuff like that better 'en a bunch a guys runnin' around hittin' each other and divin' in the mud for a pigskin.

Opie: Well, maybe flowers, I could learn to like flowers like you and Maw...(Opie pauses as Andy casts his line into the water). Paw, did she get to hold me before she died?

Andy: You better know she did son. Yes siree! I remember the doctors was still workin' on her and she had this air thing over her nose and mouth. They brought you in all rapped up in a blue nightey. Then, they laid you down oh her chest. Her eyes got wide, she grinned so much, they could hardly keep that mask on her. She looked at me, she looked at you, she looked up toward the ceiling...She held you up, as much as her frail arms could stand and then brought you down, right on her cheek,...see you wasn't much bigger that a minute. Then her eyes closed and she held you tight. I wrapped my arm around the two of you...and that was it..the most special time ever, and the saddest...but we were all together for those precious few moments.

[...only the birds can be heard as the two sit and reflect..]..

--------------------------------------------------------------- The next scene...

[Andy is rowing to the shore as Opie proudly watches over a generous basket of fish still flopping around. As Andy nears the shore, he sees a fisherman's bobber out in the water. Andy quietly lifts the oars out of the water, gives Opie the quiet sign and lets the boat drift toward the bobber. Andy smiles as he pulls the line out of the water, Opie can hardly keep quiet, as he sees nothing but a wet piece of bread on the hook. Andy takes a good-sized fish, puts it on the hook and reimmerses it in the water. The fish takes off and the bobber submerges. Opie starts yelling to the shore.]

Opie: Barney you got a Fish, You got a bite Barney, It's a Big'un

[Barney awakens from a nap startled. He stands up and grabs the pole as it is nearly pulled into the water. His nervous body flails wildly as he struggles to crank his reel. He knocks over his seat, drops his hat, and steps in a bucket.]

Barney: I got it! I got it! It must be Ole Sam! It's a big 'un alright.

[Barney continues fighting the catch as Andy and Opie row in grinning.]

Andy: Will ya look at that. Look at what the guy who was too tired to fish caught!

Opie: Good catch Barney, I didn't know they'd bite on wet old bread.

Barney: (Bobbing his head proudly back and forth) Well, it just takes patience. A fisherman has just got to be patient. You just have to sit still and wait them out.

Opie: You was sittin' still alright Barney. I didn't see ya move a muscle.

Andy: Hey Barn, why didn't ya holler at us to come get you in the boat? We coulda give ya some real bait.

Barney: (sniffs to one side proudly) Ya don't need real bait if ya got what I got.

Andy: Patience? (Barney nods) Why don't you come to the house with us. We'll clean these out back, and fry up and mess of 'em.


[Opie, Andy and Barney walk into the front room from the kitchen to see Aunt Bee napping on the sofa. ]

Andy: (softly) Aunt Bee... (she awakens) We're gonna clean some fish for supper. Opie asked some questions today so we're gonna have that talk...you know Thee Talk, we've been puttin off.

Barney: (eyes bulging out) Well, if you need to have Thee Talk with the boy, I better....uh

Andy: No it's OK Barn. You know alot about it too. You're no stranger to how Opie come into this world.

Barney: (excitedly) Well no but, that's just somethin that boy and his father should....(he starts toward the door)

Aunt Bee: I'll go upstairs and get the pictures, and the book.

Barney: Pictures! You're gonna show pictures! Andy I don't think its right for... I mean, He's your son, but that don't mean I haveta...You can tell 'em whatever you...Pictures!!?

Opie: Watsa matter Barney, don't you wanna talk about my maw? (Opie gives the most innocent inquiring look)

Barney: Well Yeah, I uh...Your Maw? But I thought you were gonna.. (A relieving sigh comes out) Sure I know all about your Maw. Actually I saw 'er first.

Andy: What did ya think we were gonna talk about Barn?

Opie: Oh, I knew 'thee talk' was about Maggie, I just thought you'd like to, you-know, be alone.


[After Dinner the four of them are paging through photo albums and scrap books. Opie is wide-eyed with curiosity. It's hard to get the story out as Andy, Aunt Bee and Barney keep interrupting each other to continue the story.]

Andy: Ya see Ope, Me and Barney went to cadet school upstate in Durham. Looka-there, aren't we two of the snappiest cadets in the whole line there.

Opie: What's that on yer heads? a cap or sumthin' (Aunt Bee bursts out laughing)

Barney: That's 'uh actually our hair. Ya see we wuz younger and...

Andy: Let's just say, we preferred the bushy look...Barney your does look kinda like a cap. (chuckles)

Aunt Bee: Your father and Barney were up there for 16 weeks of schoolin' after they got back from the service. Barney went to work in the Meter Patrol in Raliegh for a while, but Andy came back to Mayberry, because his Father was sick, my Brother George...and Sheriff Poindexter needed a hand.

Andy: But while we wus there, Me and Barney would go over to this General Store they had close to the campus for a cherry phosphate. The first time I walked in, I saw this tall freckly faced skinny-legged young woman with a smile that lit up the whole place.

Barney: But I walked in first, I saw 'er first.

Andy: But you just asked her where you could find some foot powder. ..and I asked her where I could find someone who could show us around town. She flipped that long reddish brown hair around as she turned to draw the soda...and she said, Well appears to me like a tall handsome lawman like you could find his own way around. (laughing) and then Barney says.. "you got maps here?"

Aunt Bee: And from that moment on, your paw was smitten. Everything was Maggie Maggie Maggie.

Andy: We got married about a year after I finished cadet school, and moved into that apartment on the back of Ole Man Crowley's place.

Aunt Bee: And then a couple years after that, Maggie was expecting. (she nods proudly at Opie)

Barney: Lets see, Was I back here yet then?

Andy: No, you were still the leading parking ticket writer in Raliegh. ...Now then Ope, Old Doc Craig thought you were a girl. So Maggie was thinkin mostly of girl names. Her favorite Aunt was Polly and her mother was Opal. ...so she wanted to name you something with a P and an O in it. She came up with Posy. You know what a Posy is???

Opie: some about flowers! [Andy nods yes]

Andy: But, I said, what if its a boy? and she pondered for a while she says P, O, P, O,P O-P? How 'bout Opie?

Opie: [grins broadly] Is that how she thought up my name? Gosh, I'm glad it wasn't Posy.

Aunt Bee: But she got sick soon, and had to stay in bed. It was somethin her Momma had too, and passed young.

Andy: But, it wasn't childbirth that caused it? It just somethin? [Andy lifts his arms out of his pockets, hold them out to his sides and shakes his head unable to utter a word]

Aunt Bee: Something with her heart, a congenital defect they said [Aunt Bee clears her throat and changes the subject to break the tension] Now here she is in her wedding dress with your Father, your grandparents, Me, and cousin Edgar

[There is a knock on the door. Some townsfolk including Jase with his big white hat (played by Joe Hamilton) walk in, Gomer trails reluctantly.]

Jase: Hey Barney, we fixed somethin up for ya, so ya don't get hurt. (Barney looks puzzled) Jase: It's a fishin glove. (Gomer reluctantly holds out a rubber glove that is dripping in grease) Jase: SO you'll never GET CAUGHT unprepared in the bathroom again!

(they all laugh, Andy grins, they walk out the door)

Andy: Thanks Boys. That's a good 'un.

Aunt Bee: (turning to Opie) Now I took turns stayin with Maggie, your Mother, when she was sick, and I remember she said...I want my child to grow up right. We are gonna teach 'em the golden rule. They should love all living things, and appreciate nature. I want my child to grow up just like their paw. Someone who respects and loves people. We're gonna take em to Preachin' every Sunday, and tech 'em the good book. Andy and Maggie's child will make our families proud.

[Opie nods approvingly as he takes another look at a picture and then heads up to bed}

Barney: Who Told them jokers about this morning?

Andy: [raising his hands in innocence] You know Opie and me were at the lake. We didn't tell Gomer either.

[Barney snaps his fingers] Barney: Miss-es Men-dle-bright...that lose-lipped little land-lady!

Andy: Barney! Don't start that again, you get thrown out, you've got no place to go.

[Andy turns to go upstairs to tuck Opie in bed. As he starts to walk in quietly, Opie is already knelt as his bed praying out loud. And God-bless Barney and Aunt Bee, and Paw and me.... And please look after my maw, and make sure she has some place to take walks and pick perty flowers. Tell her me and Paw miss her and tell her I'm gonna be a good boy and make her proud, just like she said...but I'm glad she didn't name me Posy...A-men.

[Andy comes over and give Opie a hug and tucks his in. as he walks out of the room and flips off the light he just looks heavenward and smiles]

As the whistling begins here, let me say, thanks for reading, and hope you enjoyed. This is just one explanation of the most asked question, whatever happened to Opie's mom. You may send comments to me at joe.a.gritton@ameritech.com