(We open at the pumpkin patch. Sach and Whitey are loading their baskets with all kinds of fat orange gourds.)

Whitey: I haven't seen such great looking pumpkins in forever!

Sach: Me either! (Hefts one large, round orange pumpkin) Doesn't this one kind of look like the Chief? It's all round!

Whitey: Hey, it does kinda look like him!

Sach: I wish it wasn't too early for Halloween. It would make a great jack-o'lantern.

Whitey: It sure would! I'm sure there'll still be some good ones in a few weeks.

Sach: Anyway, the Chiefy-kin will make a nice pie. (Plops the pumpkin in his basket...then laughs when he turns to the squash) Hey, look at this guy! (Picks up a large green-and-yellow squash that has two bulbs and a long, thick part right in the middle.) Ain't this squash handsome? His nose is almost as nice as mine.

Whitey: Wow! It looks just like you!

Sach: I don't think I'll take it, though. I could never eat myself. (Puts it back) That would be like those headhunters in the movies!

Whitey: Good point.

Sach: I wonder how the other guys are doin'?

Whitey: I don't know... *points* Well, there's Butch and the Chief!

Sach: (Waves) Hi, guys! How ya doin'?

Butch: Not great. We lost Chuck.

Sach: How'd ya lose him?

Slip: He walked away from us. Have ya seen him?

Whitey: *Shakes his head* Not since we split up.

Sach: (Shakes his head) All I've seen are pumpkins that look like the Chief and squash that look like me.

Butch: (Sees the round pumpkin in Sach's basket) It does look like you at that, Slip.

Slip: *Looks at the pumpkin* I don't see the simultaneous.

Sach: (He picks up his basket) I'll explain it while we look for Chuckie. (Frowns) I hope he isn't hurt, lyin' in a ditch somewhere.

Butch: I think he just got scared and found some place to hide.

Whitey: *His eyes widen* There's something here that scared him? Where!? *looks around*

Sach: Oooh, I'll bet there's thieves out here, lookin' for our pumpkins!

Slip: *Whacks Whitey and Sach with his hat* Chuck got scared at som'en he an' Butch were talkin' about.

Butch: (Nods) We were talking about Rachel, and he got upset.

Sach: Why would that upset him? He loves Rachel! He's been all mushy ever since she made that dinner for him the other night!

Slip: Rachel didn't upset him.

Sach: Then what?

Butch: It's hard to explain...

Slip: Letís just look fer 'im, cuz it don't matter why he ran off.

Sach: (Checks under a pumpkin) Chuck? Chuckie?

Slip: *Whacks Sach again* Sach!

Sach: What? I don't see you lookin' for him!

Butch: He ain't that skinny!

Slip: Or that short. Now c'mon.

Sach: (As he hurries to catch up) I don't see him anywhere!

Butch: (Points to a row of corn on the edge of the field) Maybe he went in there!

Sach: You could probably hide dump trucks in there, and no one would ever find them!

Slip: There ain't a better place ta hide. He's gotta be in there.

Sach: (Gulps) I hope we don't get lost, too. We ain't too good with mazes. The last time Chiefy n' me went into the maze house at Coney Island, it took an hour for us to find our way out.

Slip: We got Butch an' Whitey with us this time. Letís go. *heads into the maze*

Whitey: Wait up, Chief! *follows after Slip*

Sach: Hey! (Hurries after them. Butch follows him, shaking his head.)

(Cut to the maze. It's an endless line of thick bright green, cream, and yellow stalks of corn. Sach is the first one to catch up with Slip.)

Sach: Whoa, Chiefy! Don't leave the rest of us behind!

Slip: I'm tryin' ta find my brother.

Sach: Yeah, but we don't want to be lost, too!

Slip: We ain't gonna get lost.

Whitey: *Rushes up* Wait for me!

Butch: (He joins them, ambling along) We should be ok as long as we stick together. (They stop at a four-way spot) Now, which way do we want to go?

Sach: Ooh! Let me pick! (He closes his eyes and points his finger) Eeenie meenie minie moe...

Slip: I say we go to the right.

Whitey: I'm following the Chief.

Sach: I'm goin'... (points left) This way! (He starts left; everyone else goes right. He turns around and sees that no one is following him.) Hey! (Finally goes after the others.)

Butch: Is it me, or is it a little spooky in here?

Whitey: *Nods* It's spooky.

Slip: It's just you two.

(Suddenly, something tall and covered with corn stalks jumps out in front of them and goes 'Booga Booga!')

Butch: Yipes! (Jumps a mile)

Slip: *Makes a face* What the...

Corn Stalk Creature: Guys, it's only me! (Pulls stalks off his head to reveal a slightly messy Sach) You should have seen your faces when I jumped outta the corn!

Slip: *Scowls* Do you see MY face?

Sach: Yeah. You really look like that pumpkin now. You're almost the same color.

Slip: *Growls* Saaach...

Butch: Maybe we'd better move on. (They've come to another fork.) Should we go ahead, or to our left?

Slip: *Considers* Left...

*Slip starts down the left path. Whitey follows right behind.*

Butch: (He hurries up to them, Sach following) I hope we find Chuck soon.

Sach: Yeah. My goosebumps have goosebumps. I thought all the scary stuff was supposed to be next month.

Slip: The only thing scary in here is you, Sach.

Sach: Nahh, I ain't scary...yiiiii! (He sees something moving in the stalks and jumps behind Slip) There's a tiger in there! Or a wolf! Or somethin' that's gonna eat me! Please eat the Chief first! He has more dark meat!

*Slip shakes his head and walks into the corn. He returns with a small kitten in his hands.*

Slip: *Puts the kitten up to Sach's face* Here's yer scary critter.

Sach: Hey, my tiger shrunk!

Butch: That bitty baby couldn't hurt a ball of yarn.

*The kitten mews.*

Sach: (Pats the kitten) Sorry, kitty. I guess you're lost, too.

Whitey: It's cute!

Butch: She has a collar. Maybe she belongs to your friend, Slip.

Slip: Why do ya think she let me pick 'er up, hmmmm?

*Slip sets the kitten down. She scampers away down the path.*

Sach: Maybe we ought to follow her. She might know where Chuckie is.

Slip: Fer once, Sach, ya might be right. After her!

(Cut to the kitten happily chasing a butterfly down the path. She tries lunge for the butterfly with her paw, but misses and goes tumbling into something long and brown. She looks up...and discovers that this long and brown thing is a shoe. She rubs the shoe curiously, meowing.)

Chuck: *Kneels and pets the kitten* Aren't you cute?

(The kitten leans into Chuck's hand, enjoying the warmth.)

Chuck: *Sighs* Aw... *sits on the ground and scoops up the kitten* What're you doing in here, huh?

(The kitten tries to bat at the butterfly, which is now closer to her, but she can't reach in Chuck's arms.)

Chuck: *Frowns* I can see you'd rather play with the butterfly.

(The kitten makes a face as the butterfly flutters away. She finally licks Chuck instead and cuddles into his arms. At least he's soft.)

Chuck: *Still frowning* Aw... *sighs* Sorry, kitty. I'm not good at this stuff.

(The kitten sighs. He's soft. That's all she cares about.)

Chuck: *Pets the kitten* I got the same reaction from Rachel snuggling me... *sighs* I don't know what's wrong with me. I lost my head when she did that, then...I don't even know what happened when talking to Butch.

(The kitten nuzzles him, trying to make him feel better.)

Chuck: I got scared. These emotions are new to me. I know Rachel won't hurt me, but I'm afraid I might hurt her. I don't think I'd do it on purpose, but I might accidentally. Rachel's so wonderful & I don't feel like I deserve her.

(The kitten licks him. It couldn't be all that bad. You're nice and warm!)

Chuck: Maybe I'm overreacting, but I can't help being scared. I don't know what I'm doing. I...I've never been in love before.

(The kitten looks up at him and mews. What's love? Love is cream in your bowl and being petted and humans who know just where to scratch under your chin.)

Chuck: *Scratches under the kitten's chin; frowns as his eyes become watery* I just...I wanna lock myself away and never have to think about any of this again. I guess...I'm not ready to grow up.

(The kitten rubs his chest. She's not, either. She just likes to be held.)

Chuck: *Sniffs* I wish everyone were as good a listener as you are.

(The kitten leans into Chuck and sighs again.)

Chuck: Too bad you belong to Slip's friend or I'd take you home with me.

Slip's Voice: I saw her come this way!

Chuck: *Looks down at the kitten* Traitor.

(The kitten only mews.)

Butch: (Points ahead) There he is!

Sach: Little Miss Kitty found him! She's such a good girl!

Whitey: Chuck!

Slip: We've been lookin' all over for ya!

Chuck: *Looks down at the kitten as he pets her again* And sent Tracker Kitty after me.

Slip: "Tracker Kitty?" Are you listenin' to yerself?

Sach: Aw, she ain't no dog! The kitty just went down the road, an' we followed her.

(The kitty makes a face. Compare her to a dog? What an insult!)

Chuck: I just wanted to be alone, guys.

Slip: Ya coulda gone to the car.

Sach: We were worried about you!

Butch: You just ran off. I'm sorry if I said anything that go you upset.

Chuck: You didn't do anything, Butch.

Sach: Then why did ya run away? Did you get spooked by Miss Kitty, too?

Chuck: *Makes a face* Huh? *frowns* I ran off...because...I... *looks down at the kitten and scratches behind her ears*

(The kitten mews happily. Oooh, that feels good! This human knows what he's doing.)

Butch: Because what?

Chuck: I'm scared.

Slip: Scared of what?

Slip: What happened that you needed ta make a u-turn in the middle of the road?

Chuck: *Shrugs* I'm scared of love and growing up. *continues to scratch behind the kitten's ears*

Sach: Aw, is that all?

(The kitten makes gurgling noises in her throat. That scratching feels nice.)

Butch: You're afraid you can't handle the responsibility of doing...adult things...with Rachel?

Slip: Chuck... *kneels next to him* you're afraid that things are moving too fast between you an' Rachel.

Chuck: Yes. I'm not ready for adult things. *looks up* Rachel deserves someone who is.

Slip: Y'know, I'm gettin' real tired of goin' around in circles wit' you.

Sach: Ya know what, Chuck? I ain't ready to be a grown-up yet, either.

Slip: Sach, you ain't never gonna grow up.

Chuck: I didn't ASK for help, Slip.

*Chuck scratches the kitten's belly.*

(The kitten mews happily.)

Slip: Kid, I dunno what ta do for ya. Now, if ya wanna join us, great. Otherwise, we're leavin' ya here.

Chuck: *Looks up* Why can't you be like the kitten and just listen?

Slip: *Stands* You comin' with or not?

Butch: Chuck, talk. We're listening.

Sach: Yeah. It ain't like we can do anythin' else out here!

Chuck: That's all I've BEEN doing. And all of you just wanna fix me. I'm not broken. I'm hurt. It's my heart that needs the mending. My mind just keeps going on auto pilot. Do you know how confusing that is? My body is obviously ready for grown up things. My mind thinks it is, but my heart just aches.

Butch: Chuck, it's hard to know what to say. We've been doing everything we can for you.

Chuck: I don't need you to do anything. I just need time to heal and an ear to listen.

Whitey: If it helps at all, the kitten sure likes you.

Sach: Yeah. She's a smart kitty. She knows who's good to her.

Butch: She doesn't care if you're hurt. She only knows that you're kind to her and scratch her in the right place.

Chuck: And if I were to scratch Rachel in the right place, she'd throw me across the room.

Butch: But the kitten won't. Not everything reacts like that.

Chuck: But if I attempt a reaction like this from Rachel...all I can think about is...something that'd get me thrown into next year.

Sach: (Shrugs) So you get back up again, say you're sorry, and ask her where she wants you to make her purr.

Slip: Fer once, good advice from Sach.

Chuck: And what if she won't let me?

Sach: If she loves ya, she will.

Slip: Chuck, Sach is right. We know yer scared, but ya gotta try.

(That's when we hear female voices. Jane, Sally, Rachel, and Marsha round the corner. They wear simple dresses and slacks and sweaters and carry baskets filled with produce.)

Sally: There they are! I thought I heard them!

Marsha: And I thought you guys were ghosts!

Whitey: We are!?

Sach: I'm too young to haunt houses!

Marsha: (Grabs Whitey's arm) Nope, you feel solid to me!

Whitey: *Grins like a dope* Aw...

Rachel: *Concerned look* What's going on?

Butch: Oh, Chuck just got lost in the maze. Miss Kitty found him for us.

Sach: Yeah! Wasn't that nice of her?

(Miss Kitty would reply, but she's asleep in Chuck's arms.)

*Chuck continues to gently stroke Miss Kitty's back.*

Rachel: *Nods, smiling just a little* I can see what he's done to her.

*Chuck looks up at Rachel. She gives him a smile.*

Sally: We were going to pick corn and squash, but then we saw you guys go in here and wondered what was up.

Sach: We were followin' Chuck. We thought he was lost.

Butch: We found him.

Jane: You're such good friends.

Sach: (Puts an arm around Chuck) Ain't we? We're like this. (Puts two fingers together)

Sally: How would you like to go back out and see if you left us any corn and squash?

Slip: I think we should. Chuck can take his little friend back to her owner.

Rachel: I'll go with him. I'll bet some nice little girl is missing her.

Chuck: *Gets up carefully while still holding Miss Kitty* Thank you, Rachel.

Rachel: You're welcome.

Butch: (He takes Jane's arm) Want to pick apples? They're really tasty this year!

Jane: I'd love to!

Whitey: *To Marsha* Can I help you get some squash?

Marsha: Sure! You can squash my squash anytime! (Takes his arm)

Sach: (He watches the four stroll off into the maze) I'm gonna find that squash that looks like me. It's the handsome one.

Sally: I'm sure it's something else.

Slip: Som'en else all right.

Sach: (Takes Slip and Sally's arms) Why don't you come with me? I wanna show Sally the pumpkin that looks like the Chief.

Sally: (Grins) Oh?

Slip: *Sighs* I don't think so.

Sally: I'd like to see it.

Sach: Ok! The lady wins! (He leads the two out before Slip can hit him with his hat.)

Rachel: (Shakes her head) What are we gonna do with the whole lot of them?

Chuck: I have no idea.

Rachel: (Rubs the sleeping kitten's head) Why don't we take this little lady home to her owner?

Chuck: Yeah.

Chuck: *As they walk through the maze* Rachel...um, what makes you purr?

Rachel: (Raises an eyebrow, but she's smiling) What do you mean?

Chuck: *Frowns* Can I put Miss Kitty down before you punch or throw me?

Rachel: Why would I do that? You only asked a question.

Chuck: Because Sach suggested it.

Rachel: From what you guys say, Sach is the last person on the planet who would know anything about handling women who aren't related to him.

Chuck: I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said anything.

Rachel: Stop that! You have every right to ask questions. It's a free country.

Chuck: *Gently strokes the sleeping Miss Kitty again* Miss Kitty was so comfortable with me that she fell asleep. Do you feel the same way about me?

Rachel: Maybe not fall asleep, but yes, I do feel comfortable with you. I've never felt this comfortable with any man. I think Miss Kitty is a very lucky little miss.

Chuck: Maybe...would you...some day...tell me what makes you...purr?

Rachel: Sure. (She whispers in his ear) Sometimes, I like it when I get scratched between the ears, too.

Chuck: *His eyes widen* You...

Rachel: You just have to know where to put your hands. I'd be more than happy to show you.

*Chuck nods slowly, trying to work his mouth, but it won't cooperate.*

Rachel: (Points to an exit sign over an archway of corn) There's the way out. Why don't we bring this little lady to the main barn and give her to her owner?

*Chuck nods again.*

Rachel: We'll meet the others at the store in front.

*Chuck nods again.*