Croak & Punishment
"Trip to the Archives"
Sprig finds a rare and precious Blue Moon Shell and wants to give it to Ivy for her birthday the following day. But after cleaning Bessie's stable, he finds it stolen and promptly goes into a mental breakdown due to the loss of his gift. Anne not wanting to see her friend sorrowful and heartbroken, shows Sprig a cop show from back home called "Cop Stop" which thrills Sprig. He and Anne then investigate the area to find the thief. Their first clue, a red string, leads them to Grub & Go after Sprig claims they sell it there. Before they enter the shop, Anne lays down the plan of their interrogation and in addition the duo wear fake bushy mustaches as well.
She appoints herself to be the "good cop" while Sprig would act as the "bad cop" and get the confession out of the suspects. Anne walks in and greets the cashier, Quentin and "butters him up" asking how business was doing and then inquires about a stolen shell, displaying a folder labelled with various shell pictures. When the cashier denies seeing any shell, Anne asks Sprig to "hit him with the bad cop". Sprig compliments his hair and knocks over a jar of pencils before being dragged to the corner of the room by Anne. She explains how a "bad cop" should act and that Sprig was behaving like a "sad cop", she recounts how this thief not only took the shell but also his future with Ivy and their relationship which angers and provokes Sprig who leaps onto the cashier and grabbing him by the neck, demands who bought the red string. The terrified cashier mentions that no one except the baker, Mr. Flour had bought the string today and Anne and Sprig promptly leave before buying doughnuts. Anne once again enters the bakery and begins complimenting Mr. Flour before Sprig follows up by seizing the baker too early and demanding the whereabouts of the Shell. Anne seems shocked at Sprig's intense interrogation while the baker explains he uses the red string to wrap baguettes and that whoever bought one was a suspect. Sprig orders the baker to hand over the list but Mr. Flour refuses, claiming the customer list was "confidential" to the baker's oath. Sprig notices an apron hanging beside him labelled "favourite apron" and grabs it before threatening to drop it into the fire which finally leads to Mr. Flour complying and offering Sprig the list. Anne apologizes to the weeping baker who clutches his apron while cradling himself on the ground and leaves with Sprig as they go around to confront the suspects on the list, Stumpy, Mrs. Croaker, Mayor Toadstool, and Toady, with Sprig being the bad cop who carries out the interrogations with impatience and rage.
They finally head over to their last suspect, Gunther a gentle tusked frog from the south who had to move because of a 'misunderstanding'. Sprig pushes him aside and enters the neat house, formerly breaking the pots and decorative plates displayed on the shelves which angers Gunther who begins changing color. Sprig claims that the only frogs who could do that were Southern Tusked frogs as Gunther grows to a tremendous size and begins to chase Anne and Sprig as they run back to Wartwood. They begin to knock on doors and plead to let them in explaining that a monster was chasing them but to no avail as all the citizens were annoyed irritated at Sprig for his attitude towards them during the interrogations. Gunther catches up to them and bellows in anger, Sprig realizes how he was wrong to treat him like that and apologizes to Gunther saying he "hopped to conclusion" which amuses him and Gunther calms down, returning to normal size just as Sprig gives him the doughnuts they had. Gunther thanks Sprig and talks to them about his own "rage problems" and bites into a doughnut. Sprig mentions that the doughnuts are coated with licorice which again angers Gunther who states he hates licorice and charges at Anne and Sprig. They finally arrive back home at evening, still having not found the Blue Moon Shell. Before they enter the door Sprig notices the shell placed on a fence just outside he house much to the confusion for him and Anne. Ivy arrives and greets the startled cop duo, explaining she found the shell and took it home to polish it up before giving it to Sprig. Anne nudges him in the shoulder who remembers it was supposed to be her gift and gives it back to Ivy as her birthday gift. She thanks Sprig but says that she liked it here hanging outside the door as it reminds her of Sprig being nearby before saying farewell and leaving. Anne then laughs and claims "there goes the thief" before Sprig declares that she didn't only steal the shell, but she also stole his heart!