The Old Grist Mill / Transcript

Spinning out of the blackness, a frog plays the piano to the theme. The theme plays, accompanied by a montage of mysterious vignettes.
Narrator (shadows drift in and out of view) Somewhere, lost in the clouded annals of history lies a place that few have seen- a mysterious place, called the Unknown, (a bird is silhouetted on a high tree branch) where long-forgotten stories are revealed to those who travel through the wood.
The bird flies away, and Wirt and Greg are seen walking through the forest.
Greg ... Antelope, Guggenheim, Albert, Salami, Giggly, Jumpy, Tom, Thomas, Tambourine, Leg-Face McCullen, Artichoke, Penguin, Pete, Steve... But I think the very worst name for this frog is-
Wirt Wait. Wait a second. Uh, Greg... (He looks around. Trees tower menacingly, an owl hoots, red-eyed squirrels chitter from the shadows) Where are we?
Greg In the woods.
Wirt I mean... what are we... doing out here?
Greg We're walking home.
Wirt Greg, I think we're lost. We sh- we should have left a trail or something...
Greg I can leave a trail of candy from my pants! (tosses candy)
Wirt (sighs) No. Though I am lost, my wounded heart resides back home, in pieces, strewn about the graveyard of my lost love, for only- (thumping sounds) (gasps) Do you hear that?
Greg Yeah. (They hide behind a nearby tree.)
Wirt Do you think it's some kind of deranged lunatic with an axe waiting out there in the darkness for innocent victims? (Greg runs ahead) Greg, Greg! (whimpers, and follows him) Greg, you're gonna get us into trouble again-
He gasps as he spots the Woodsman, singing indistinctly and gathering branches from a large chopped tree.)
Greg We should ask him for help.
Wirt No, we should not ask him for help.
Greg But-
Wirt Shh!
Greg You shush.
Wirt You shush.
They continue arguing. Wirt covers Greg's mouth. The Woodsman's song fades as he walks into the forest, carrying his lantern with him.
Wirt Shoot. You think we should have asked him for help?
Beatrice Maybe I can help you. (They turn to see a bluebird sitting on a branch.) I mean, you guys are lost, right?
Wirt (gasps and pats his face) What in the world is going on?
Greg Well, you're slapping yourself, and I'm answering your question, and-
Wirt No, Greg. A bird's brain isn't big enough for cognizant speech.
Beatrice Hey, what was that?
Wirt I mean, I'm just saying you're- you're weird, like... not normal. (Greg places a candy on a passing turtle, sticks one to Wirt's cape) I-I mean... oh my gosh, stop talking to it, Wirt.
Beatrice It?
Wirt Uh... uh- (Suddenly the Woodsman's lantern shines on them)
Woodsman What are you doing here? Explain yourselves!
Beatrice And I'll see you guys later. Bye. (she quickly flies off)
Wirt (The Woodsman glares at the boys) Calm-calm down, mister. Wh-whatever you do here is your business. We just wanna get home with all of our legs and arms attached.
Woodsman These woods are no place for children. Don't you know the Beast is afoot here?
Wirt The Beast? W-w-w-we don't know anything about that. We're just two lost kids trying to get home!
Woodsman Well, welcome to the Unknown, boys. You're more lost than you realize. (Wind blows through the shadowy husk of the tree. Cut to the mill. Wirt and Greg stand in the living room. The Woodsman is lighting the fireplace.) I found this homestead abandoned, and re-purposed its mill for my needs. You and your brother should be safe here while I work.
Greg (placing candies leading in from the door) Candy trail. candy trail, candy trail.
Wirt What- what is your work, exactly?
Woodsman Everyone has a torch to burn, (taps his lantern, which shines white light) and this here's mine. I grind the horrid Edelwood trees into oil to keep this lantern lit. (He breaks a stick and tosses it aside. Staring into the fire) This is my lot in life. This is my burden.
Wirt (whispering to Greg) This guy sounds loony. Maybe we should make a break for it, if we can. But he must know the woods really well, so we may need to knock him out first, except that may turn out really badly, huh? Yeah, bad- bad plan. Forget it. Bad plan.
Greg Okay.
Woodsman What are you boys whispering about?
Greg We're talking about running away out of here.
Wirt Shh! (They start shushing each other.)
Woodsman (standing with a groan) Leave if you wish, but remember- the Beast haunts these woods, ever singing his mournful melody, in search of lost souls such as yourselves!
Greg To help us?
Woodsman No, not to help you. I have work to do in the mill. When I am finished, I will do what I can to guide you, if you are still here when I return. (He goes in and closes the door.)
Wirt Huh. I guess we could just leave... I don't know. Greg?
Greg What? (tosses a log, and wanders around the room)
Wirt Do you think there really is a Beast out there, or is that guy just messing with us?
Greg (absentmindedly) Uh-huh.
Wirt I man, he could have done away with us by now if that was his plan, and he lit that fire, that's pretty nice... (He sits on the couch)
Greg Yeah!
Wirt I guess it's possible there's a Beast, since there was a talking bird, but... (sighs and lies down) I dunno. Sometimes I feel like I'm just like a boat, upon a winding river, twisting towards an endless black sea... (Greg swings a fireplace bellows) ... further and further, drifting away from where I want to be, who I want to be.
Greg Oh. I didn't know that. Did you know that if you soak a raisin in grape juice, it turns into a grape? It's a rock fact! (He reaches into his satchel and pulls out a rock with a painted-on face)
Wirt (sighs) You're not helping at all. Why don't you go play with your frog or something?
Greg Aw, beans! Where is that frog o' mine? Hold on there a second, brother o' mine. I'll be back soon for your plan. (He throws candy, then goes outside. Hums) Kitty! Kitty! Now where'd that frog named Kitty go? (trips) Whoop! I tripped on my own candy trail! (Breathing sounds come from behind him.) Huh? (He walks to the edge of the forest and looks into the darkness. From behind him, the frog ribbits.) That frog's giving me the runaround. (He climbs on a barrel and looks into a window of the mill.) Kitty... (He sees the Woodsman, singing to himself, crushing sticks in a machine. It produces oil, which he catches in a glass.) Gross. (the frog ribbits) Kitty? (breathing sounds come from the woods) Hmm, is that- whoop! (he falls into the barrel, on top of the frog) Oh, there you are! (the frog ribbits)
Greg (The breathing gets louder.) Wirt? (breathing continues) Kitty? (A giant black dog appears and sticks its face in the barrel.) You have beautiful eyes... (The creature snarls and begins to growl.)
Wirt (hears a crash) Greg? Uh... (another crash. The Woodsman bursts in.)
Woodsman What's happening? Where's your brother?
Wirt (shrugs and makes "I don't know" noise)
Greg (enters covered in bits of broken barrel) Holy moley, hot dog! (The creature breaks down the door, slamming Greg into the stairs. Growling.)
Wirt It's the Beast!
Woodsman Stay back, boys! This creature which is known as- (Greg hits him in the head with a board. He falls down.)
Wirt Greg, why did you do that?!
Greg That was your plan, remember? Knock him out!
Wirt No! Bad plan! I told you to forget that plan! Aah! (The creature approaches. Wirt hides behind the fire grate.)
Greg Spank! Spank! (He hits the creature with the butt of the axe) Spank! (The creature turns and growls. Wirt runs out of the room.)
Wirt Run run run run run run run run! (The creature roars)
Greg Candy camouflage! (Tosses candy, grabs the ax and his frog. Follows Wirt) Run run run run run run run run run. (The creature follows them. Wirt dodges it.)
Wirt Greg!
Greg This is amazing, huh? (The creature moves closer. Wirt throws a sack of potatoes at it.) Am I supposed to throw something? Oh yeah! Ha ha! (Tosses candy. The creature stops and eats it.)
Wirt He's eating your candy.
Greg I wonder if he ate my whole candy trail that led to this mill.
Wirt Ugh, Greg! You led the Beast right to us with your candy! (The creature knocks over the table the boys are standing on. Both groan.) Hey, give me the axe. You're too little to have it anyway. (The creature scratches at the table.) Aah! We got to- we got to get out of here! (Greg points to a ladder. They climb it and emerge onto the roof of the mill. The creature breaks through the ceiling and heads towards the boys.)
Wirt Aah! Uh, Greg, give him the rest of your candy! (Greg checks his pants, but they're empty. He looks around, and notices a piece stuck to Wirt's cape. He tosses it off the mill.)
Greg Oops. (The creature jumps after the candy and gets caught in the waterwheel. The machinery creaks and strains. The roof breaks and the boys fall into the river. The creature coughs up a turtle with a candy stuck to its shell.)
Greg Hey Wirt, look!
Wirt Greg?
Greg (he rides out of the river on the back of the creature, now a normal-sized dog) Wirt, he spit up that turtle and now he's my new best friend! (The dog shakes itself dry and Greg falls off. The dog ambles away, panting.) Hey, where're you going? Ain't that just the way.
Woodsman The mill is destroyed. The oil- all gone! (He picks up a shard of a broken container.)
Wirt But- but- but look. We- we got the Beast problem solved. (the dog is sleeping.)
Woodsman The dog?! That is not the Beast! The Beast cannot be mollified like some farmer's pet! He stalks like the night. He sings like the four winds. He is the death of hope. He steals their children, and he'll... ruin... (muttering)
Wirt You're always messing up, Greg.
Woodsman Boy, you have it backwards! You are the elder child! You are responsible for you and your brother's actions!
Wirt I'm- I'm- I'm sorry. Maybe I can... fix it? I- I can't fix it.
Woodsman You must go. Take your brother north. Look for a town.
Wirt Yeah, thanks. Come on, Greg. (They start to stepping-stone across the river.)
Woodsman One last thing. Beware the Unknown! Fear the Beast! And leave these woods... if you can. It is your burden to bear!
Wirt Right. Yeah, uh, got it.
Woodsman (to Greg) And little one, you captured that frog. Give him a proper name.
Frog (croaks)
Greg Okay. (They part ways. In another part of the woods.) Wirt, I think I thought of a new name for our frog. I'm gonna call him "Wirt."
Wirt That's gonna be really confusing.
Greg No. I'm gonna call you "Kitty."
Wirt What? Maybe I'll start calling you "Candy Pants."
Greg Whoa. yeah
Frog (croaks)
Greg Good one, Wirt. (They walk off into the forest, lit by a yellow half-moon.)
Wirt Thanks.
Greg I'm not talking to you. I'm talking to Wirt. (Slow piano music plays.)
End of episode.