"The Blue and the Gray" is the twentieth episode of the first season of Wild Kratts, originally airing on PBS Kids on April 22, 2011. The episode was written and directed by Martin Kratt.
In this episode, Chris and Martin Kratt challenge each other to a contest to see which animal, gray squirrels or blue jays, is the better acorn planter. Chris activates his Squirrel Creature Power Suit while Martin activates Blue Jay Powers. However, the contest turns into a rescue mission when a blue jay pecks the activation button on Martin's Suit, causing him to transform into an acorn and to grow into an oak tree.
The episode begins with a live action segment. The Kratt brothers find a gray squirrel and watch as it eats and buries acorns. Afterwards, they ask their "What if?" question and the show transitions into the cartoon segment.
The Tortuga hovers in midair over a North American forest. Chris tells the rest of the Wild Kratts that gray squirrels are entirely responsible for planting the forest. Martin, however, disagrees. The two then touch down from the Tortuga onto a tree, while the rest of the crew finds a spot to land the Tortuga. But trouble begins when Martin loses his Creature Pod and Chris breaks his. After getting shooed by a goshawk, the Kratt brothers slide down onto the ground, where they find a blue jay and a gray squirrel fighting over an acorn. Martin believes that blue jays play a bigger part in planting the forest, and Chris continues to believe that gray squirrels planted the forest. To prove their points, they activate their associated Creature Power Suits and challenge each other to a contest as to who is the better acorn planter.
The Kratt brothers argue about which animal (gray squirrels or blue jays) is better at hiding acorns, about who has the better memory, about who lets the most acorns grow into oak trees, and about who can efficiently bury acorns. But then, the blue jay pecks the activation button on Martin's Creature Power Suit, causing him to transform into an acorn. The blue jay pushes him into the ground, and he grows into an oak tree. Unable to deactivate Martin's Suit, Chris, with the mind of a squirrel, finds help. At this point, some animals start eating, resting, and sheltering on and in Martin.
Two Wild Kratts kids, a boy named Ronan and a girl named Jenny, are looking for acorns, when Jenny finds Martin's Creature Pod. The kids call Koki and tell her that they can look for the Kratt brothers and mention to them an area large enough for the Tortuga to land.
A bobcat chases Chris back to Martin. As more animals start making Martin their home, a beaver starts chewing on him. Jenny and Ronan come by, and when they realize that the tree is Martin, they waggle one of Martin's branches and lead the beaver into a pond. Jenny and Ronan call Koki, and after finding out where they are, Jimmy lands the Tortuga in a clearing near Martin. Aviva is able to make it easier to deactivate Martin's Suit, and after moving to a safe distance, she uses her claw-arm to deactivate him, leaving Martin to hold all the animals that were on him. As he stumbles to keep them all balanced, Aviva stated that so many animals depend on oak trees, Koki stated that oak trees depend on those animals, and Jimmy stated that plants and animal relationships are awesome. Just then, Martin stumbled back as the beaver, who was holding a branch in its mouth, walked by. Martin tripped back on the branch, dropping all the animals he was holding. After seeing another blue jay and gray squirrel wrestle over an acorn, the Kratt brothers call their contest a tie.
The show transitions into the concluding live action segment. The Kratt brothers and some kids set up and hang mesh bags containing bird food on trees. Not long after, chickadees start eating the food, and the Kratt brothers conclude the episode by saying "Keep on creature adventuring; we'll see you on the creature trail!"
Key facts and Creature Moments
- Squirrels plant acorns by digging a hole in the ground and burying the acorn. Blue jays plant acorns by pushing the acorn into the ground with their beak. Squirrels can remember where they planted their acorns and unearth them in the winter. Blue jays can remember where they planted their acorns and unearth them in the spring. If a squirrel forgets where it planted its acorns, then they will grow into oak trees. If a blue jay chooses not to unearth some of its acorns, then those acorns will grow into oak trees.
- Oak trees provide food (acorns, leaves) and shelter (knotholes) to a variety of forest animals.
- The ecological topic shown in the cartoon segment is commensalism.
- This is the first time that "plant powers" are used.