Setting: Season 4, after Doomed and before New Moon Rising.
Rating: G. This story has no dialogue, for obvious reasons. Just imagine appropriate sound effects and trumpet blasts covering up the dialog.
Disclaimer: All the BtVS characters are the posession of Mutant Enemy, Warner Brothers, Twentieth Century Fox, etc. All the other cartoon characters are the possession of Warner Brothers and Charles M. Jones. I hope they don't sue me. Song information is at the end. I cut down on the last song to obey fair use restrictions.
Michigan J. Frog
Willow's Froggy Evening
The camera tracks through the streets of Sunnydale, stopping at a crowd looking at a ruined building. The crowd has gathered as close as it can to the ruins of Sunnydale High School, but barricades have kept people from getting too close.
The camera cuts to the barricade. At the barrier itself, Buffy Summers, Rupert Giles, Xander Harris, and Willow Rosenberg stand and pay their final tributes to the school that nearly killed them and that they themselves destroyed.
Giles pulls out a flask while Xander hands the others soda cans, and they toast the school on its last day.
The camera cuts to a construction crane; a burly guy pulls some levers. Then the camera shows a wrecking ball swinging at the building, knocking parts of it down. With every crash, the crowd gives a ragged cheer. The camera cuts to our heroes for a moment, and we see Xander mug for the camera and Buffy take a bow. Then, we see the wrecking ball smash the corner of the building, just over the cornerstone.
The camera closes in on the cornerstone, and then it swings over it. We see a metal box. The box swings open, and we see a frog. It makes a "Ribbit" noise, and hops out of the cavity. We see it hopping away from the school.
It's now night; a full moon is out. The camera shows Buffy and Willow as they walk through a graveyard. Willow points up and gesticulates, and Buffy grasps her hands to try to calm her. Evidently, the moon reminds her of Oz.
Suddenly, Buffy points to her left; they turn, and see two ill-dressed men leaving a crypt. Of course, they aren't men, not really. Buffy leads Willow as they walk toward the vampires.
We see Buffy banter with the vamps as Willow snickers. Then, one vamp charges Buffy, and she throws him into a tree. The other attacks Buffy while the first recovers. Willow steps behind a gravestone and crouches. She hears a croak from next to her, and looks to her right.
"When you walk through a storm,
Hold your head up high,
And don't be afraid of the dark."
Willow looks at the unlikely singer, and gasps. It's the frog from the High School. She gets up and starts to run, but Buffy's fight is nearing its climax, and she doesn't want to get in its way. She cringes and ducks again, as the frog belts out another song.
"Hello, my honey!
Hello, my baby!
Hello, my ragtime gal!"
Willow stands up again, as Buffy saunters toward her, brushing herself off. Willow points down at the frog and wildly tries to explain what happened. Buffy seems unimpressed, but she bends over to look at the frog.
Buffy shakes her head and leads Willow away, and the frog hops after them.
Willow turns and tries to kick the frog away, and it dodges and hops off. [No, not baseball. That's another cartoon entirely.]
It's the next morning; the camera shows Buffy and Willow's empty dorm room. Then, the door opens. Willow comes in, moves to her desk, and sets her books down. She then goes to her window and looks out. Suddenly, the frog jumps onto the window ledge and sings.
"From a distance the world looks blue and green,
And the snow-capped mountains white.
From a distance the ocean meets the stream,
And the eagle takes to flight.
"From a distance, there is harmony,
And it echoes through the land.
It's the voice of hope, it's the voice of peace,
It's the voice of every man."
Willow shrieks, gets a hardcover book from her desk, and tries to swat the frog. The frog dodges her blows, while still singing the song. Then, the dorm room creaks, and the frog instantly falls silent. Xander comes in.
Willow rushes to Xander and pulls him to the window. She gesticulates toward the frog, and Xander rolls his eyes. She picks up the frog by its legs and tries to show it dancing. The frog does nothing, and Xander shakes his head. Finally, Willow lets the frog go.
It's the evening; Buffy, Xander, and Anya are at Giles' apartment, eating him out of house and home. They are making desultory passes at his book collection; there must be a minor demon threat. Suddenly, Willow comes in; she has a box in her hands. Her hands flap; she's pointing at the box and trying to explain something. No one looks impressed. Finally, she opens the box, and we see the frog.
Anya looks at Xander and twirls her finger at her ear--the universal sign of mental illness. Xander looks angry.
Anya turns to Giles and points toward Willow. We see her from the back, and so we don't see exactly what sign she makes, but Giles reacts the way he did in "Hush" when she signed toward Xander. [This is a G-rated cartoon. Please.]
Finally, Anya points out the window, back toward campus, and makes an hourglass figure with her hands. Now, Buffy's angry. Everyone argues, and the scene fades out.
The next day—Willow's sitting on a bench reading a book: Abnormal Psychology. Suddenly, the frog hops onto the bench next to her.
"I'm going to find myself a house,
In the shade of the freeway.
I'm going to pack my lunch in the morning,
And go to work each day."
Willow starts to scream, and the frog keeps singing until a campus policeman comes by to investigate. Willow points to the frog.
The policeman stands Willow up and walks her away. The frog follows.
We see a sinister mansion guarded by a wrought-iron fence topped with barbed wire. There is a sign on the fence:Sunnydale Psychopathic Hospital
The camera moves to a second floor window, and it looks through. We see Willow being harangued by a doctor and forced to chant something. Presumably, it's about frogs not being able to talk.
The camera pulls back, and looks through a neighboring window. We see the same scene, except that Willow has been replaced by Elmer Fudd, dressed up in a bunny suit. [I guess he wandered in from another cartoon. Remember—tax day is coming.]
Some time passes, and we now see Willow looking out her barred window. Suddenly, the frog joins her and sings.
"They say ev'rything can be replaced,
Yet ev'ry distance is not near.
So I remember ev'ry face
Of ev'ry man who put me here.
I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east.
Any day now, any day now,
I shall be released."
Willow begins to cry.
We now see Willow wandering through the campus of UCS—I guess her health care plan wouldn't spring for a long stay. She heads up to her dorm room, goes to her computer, and starts to type. Suddenly, we hear a song from her window—the frog is back.
"Crazy … I'm crazy for feelin' so lonely
I'm crazy … crazy for feelin' so blue
I knew you'd love me as long as you wanted,
And then someday, you'd leave me for somebody new."
Suddenly, Willow gets a mad look; she grabs the frog, puts it into a metal case, pokes air holes in it, seals it with tape, wraps it in paper, scrawls an address on it, and puts on some stamps. She runs downstairs, and puts it into a mailbox. A mail truck comes by immediately and the driver loads the mail. [Hey, it's a cartoon.]
It's an insanely sunny day, and Cordelia opens the door to the [first] AI office. She's loaded down with a pile of mail. She sets it on her desk, and grabs the box on the top of the pile. She unwraps it and opens the case:
"She grew up with
The children of the stars,
In the Hollywood Hills and the Boulevard.
Her parents threw big parties;
Everyone was there.
They hung out with folks like
Dennis Hopper, Bob Seger, and Sonny and Cher…."
"Th-th-th-that's all folks!"
The songs were:
1. You'll Never Walk Alone, from Carousel, by Rodgers and Hammerstein,
2. Hello My Baby, by Ida Emerson and Joseph E. Howard,
3. From a Distance, by Julie Gold,
4. The Pretender, by Jackson Browne,
5. I Shall Be Released, by Bob Dylan,
6. Crazy, by Willie Nelson,
7. Lullaby, by Shawn Mullins.