EXT. BUSY HIGHWAY – SUNNY DAY
A toad sits on a rock on the shoulder of the road with his eyes closed. He is smiling.
Toad (meditating): Buffalo, buffalo, buffalo, buffalo, buffalo, buffalo, buffalo, buffalo.
Toad experiences an audio hallucination: “A series of destinations is not an escape from oneself. Be here now.”
There’s a close up on the toad’s face. His eyes open.
QUICK CUT TO
Newspaper 1 with the front page headline “Some Raccoons Steal Baby in Central Park” is laid down in the ether.
Newspaper 2 is laid on top of Newspaper 1, and it shows the headline “Central Park Baby’s Mother Pleads to Raccoons For Safe Return”.
Newspaper 3 is laid on top of Newspaper 2, with the headline “Mayor vows to eliminate all raccoons from the city.”
The camera zooms into the photo above the Newspaper 3 headline photo, which becomes an actual scene of The Mayor holding a public press conference.
Mayor (sternly): Blah blah blah blah blah.
Audience and press applauds.
EXT. ALLEY – MANHATTAN
Mike, a raccoon, is watching the press conference on a TV through a store window.
Mike (to himself): This – can’t be good.
Mike scans his surroundings as animal control workers are catching raccoons and throwing them into back of their trucks.
Mike (panicking slightly): Phil? Hey Phil? — Phil!
Phil emerges from a nearby dumpster wearing off a red sports jersey with a large yellow B on the front.
Phil: Mikey, you gotta check this place out. (like a newspaper boy) Get your hot garbage! The most sizzlin’ garbage in town. No better trash this side of the Evergreen Museum.
Mike (nervous laughter): Okay, time for some shuttin’ up. Get over here, quick.
Phil: And look what I found!
Phil saunters towards Mike, showing off his new jersey.
Mike pulls Phil into vent.
Phil: You need a relax pill, buddy.
Mike: Let’s play a game! We’ll see who can stay quietest for the next minute.”
Phil (suddenly excited to play): Oh, you don’t stand a chance! I’ll be the quietest —
Mike covers Phil’s mouth. They both stay silent as an animal control worker walks into the alley and pokes around with his stick. He leaves muttering, angry that he didn’t find any raccoons.
Mike uncovers Phil’s mouth.
Phil: I win, I win!
Mike: Sure, Philly, it’s all yours. Hey, I just got a really cool idea. You like cool ideas, right?
Phil: C’mon, you know I do. They’re pretty much the only ideas I’ll get behind.
Mike: How do you feel about going a cool vacation? It’ll be nice to get out of the city, you know?
Phil: I don’t know, Mike. Our lives are pretty great lately, and I don’t —
Mike: We’ve been here since we were kits. We could stand to get away for a minute. It’ll be our little adventure.
Phil: You said the magic word. Not passing up an adventure, no way, no how. A cool adventure, right? Remember when we went to that tire fire in Queens? Where all those tires were on fire? And no one cared!
Mike: Yeah, it’ll be like that, but better. We should go even further. Bigger adventure that way. I’ve always wanted to go to Chevy Chase.
Phil: That’s not a real place.
Mike: It’s in Mary-
Phil: Ooh, I heard about this place Agloe.
Mike: We’ll never find it. How about – (he looks at the front of Phil’s jersey) – Buffalo. It’s supposed to be a real paradise up that way. It’s where they take all the dumpster gold in those trucks.
Phil: Wow, Mikey! And we can go there?
Mike: We sure can, Phil. We sure can. Pack your things. We leave tonight.
EXT. RURAL FIELD
Raine, a field mouse, is teaching her friend and fellow field mouse Danielle how to whistle with a blade of grass.
Danielle (taking notes): So the whole universe, like everything – me, you, that tree – it all started last Thursday?
Raine: That’s right. Anything you remember from before that is something —
Danielle: So, wait a sec, Raine.
Raine (scolding): What did we learn about interrupters.
Danielle (dismissive): They burn. They burn. But wait a sec. That spaghetti monster you were telling me about, was he born on Thursday too?
Raine: Born and birthed us, all at once, all on Thursday.
Danielle is finally able to whistle.
Danielle: I did it! I did it!
Raine: Take away the I, Dani. Remember what we talked about? The whistling happened. And that’s all you should need to be happy in here.
Daniele: In where?
Danielle: Right, right. In the Earth, where we live, ‘cause its hollow. Of course it’s hollow. Even I knew that.
EXT. HIGHWAY SHOULDER
Mike and Phil, each carrying bindles, are hitchhiking when they encounter Toad.
Phil: Hey! Hey! Mr. Toad. Cool rock. Is it yours? It looks hot up there. What’s your name?
Toad: Names are but a –
Phil (interrupting): My dad’s name was shoebox! I’m gonna call you Rudy!
Mike: Phil, look over there! You hungry?
Phil: Be right back, Mr. Toad!
Phil runs over to a nearby pile of garbage and starts digging in.
Mike: Hello, sir. We have a plan to go North.
Toad: Our plans never turn out as tasty as reality.
Mike: I don’t know if you heard –
Toad: The quieter you become the more you can hear. I listen only to what the wind tells me.
Phil (shouting from pile of garbage): The world is pretty good, but not if you’re alone or scared or dead or something like that.
[Editor’s note: An actual live baby raccoon snuck into the author’s house and ripped up this section of the original script. The author hasn’t had a chance to rewrite it, but there was one more scene with the field mice, where Danielle stands up to Raine but they end up together and having fun. In another the Toad hallucinates and helps the raccoons get to their destination using an underground railroad chicken truck, and then he dies in some sacrificial offering.]
EXT. FARM – BUFFALO
Mike and Phil wave goodbye to the chickens and jump off the back of the truck.
Human tour guide (half inaudible, to tour group): “Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.”
Phil: You had it all along, Mike. This place is cool cool cool. Look how big the plants are out here! The orchidometer reading must be off the charts!
Mike picks up a newspaper he finds in the garbage, with the front page headline “Baby Safe, Returned by Good Samaritan Raccoons.” Below the fold is another caption, “Raccoons welcomed back into NYC with open arms.”
Mike hides newspaper from Phil. They go back to enjoying Buffalo.
Spirit guide Toad appears in the sky and winks. He licks his body and hallucinates. The entire scene hallucinates.
Credits roll. “Episodic” by Field Mouse plays.
[Editor’s note: The 33rd episode of the 71st season of Animals, titled “Raccoons”, never made it past the Brigsby Bear stage of distribution.]