Piggy tried to still the frantic fluttering of her heart. The closer the train got to Kermit’s hometown, the more nervous she became. “This is silly,” Piggy thought, trying to quell her agitation. “I’ve met Kermit’s family before.” But this time is different, her mind prompted. Before, you were coming from another world—now you’re coming to be a part of theirs. That felt more than daunting—it felt impossible. At that precise moment, Kermit turned from the window and smiled at her, squeezing her gloved hand. Suddenly, everything seemed possible. “Five minutes,” Kermit said. “I can almost smell the swamp!” Charming, thought Piggy, but she refrained from comment. Instead, she smiled back at her new husband shyly and returned the pressure of his hand. Something about her stillness made Kermit pause. He looked at her while she dropped her gaze and played with her handkerchief. “Don’t be nervous,” he said gently. “Everything’s going to be fine.” Piggy raised her eyes at last. “But—but what if they don’t like me?” “Don’t be silly,” said Kermit. “They’re going to love you.” Impulsively, he gave her a sweet little peck on the cheek, and Piggy felt immediately better. “Yes, Kermie,” she said. “Whatever you say.” Kermit froze in place and gave her a suspicious look. “Who are you?” he asked. “And what have you done with my real wife?” “Don’t be ridiculous!” Piggy snapped, bristling immediately. “Can’t I be nice?” “Very nice,” Kermit murmured, “but I don’t want you to be anything but yourself while you’re here.” “But I want them to like me,” Piggy almost wailed, revealing her deep-seated insecurities. “I like you enough for everybody, Mrs. The Frog. So stop trying to be a Stepford pig and just be the beautiful, talented, cantankerous, high-maintenance woman I married. Got it?” “High maintenance!” Piggy cried. “I’ll show you high maintenance! Just for that, you’re carrying my luggage.” “Carry it?” Kermit laughed. “I can’t even lift it!” Piggy just stared at him, her mouth dropping open in surprise. “Oh!” she said, “You are so—“ Kermit pulled her into his arms and kissed her like he meant to do it right, quashing Piggy’s protest with unilateral action. Unilateral action changed to bilateral action as Piggy but her pique (and her lips) to good use. They broke apart at last. “Better?” Kermit asked, his expression bemused. “Yes,” Piggy admitted grudgingly. Darn the man, er, frog, anyway! “Good,” said the prodigal son, pulling her after him into the aisle of the train. “Cause there’s plenty more where that came from. Just remember I love you, and everything will be okay.” Despite his bravado, the sight of some 357 frogs all peering at them with undisguised interest as they descended the steps of the train gave Kermit pause. He’d never gotten this kind of reception before. Then again, he’d never brought home a glamorous lady pig who just happened to be his wife before. He scanned the sea of faces, picking out brothers and sisters and several scores of nephews and nieces. There was one face he’d expected to see—hoped to see, at least—but he didn’t. Inwardly, Kermit sighed. “Um, hi ho everyone!” Kermit called cheerily. “It’s great to be home.” He turned and offered Piggy a hand down the steps. Seven-hundred and sixteen eyes watched her silver and Lucite high heels tink-tink delicately down the steps. “Wow!” said one of the little boys. “They look like race cars!” He was promptly shushed by several adults and disappeared from view. Piggy looked up, and her blue eyes were wide. “Um, hello everybodee!” she said. Kermit could almost feel her pulling her performance armor around her, and wished she would just relax. “It was so nice of you to meet us at the station.” Immediately, despite the attempts of the adults to restrain them, the tide of young frogs surged around them carrying them away from each other. Piggy looked to Kermit, momentarily panicked, but watching Kermit’s flustered but gentle reaction to the many small hands and numerous high-pitched voices made her eyes soften. For just a moment, she could see them surrounded by a large brood of bouncing baby— “Ma’am! Ma’am!” said a small insistent voice somewhere in the vicinity of her kneecap. Piggy looked around for a moment before she identified the speaker. It was a little girl, perhaps four, with a curly fringe of light hair. She was gazing at Miss Piggy with undisguised admiration. Piggy had never been completely comfortable with children, but she knew what to do with fans. “Yes, dear,” she said, her head cocked attentively and her gaze very direct. “What did you want, sweetie?” A hush fell over the crowd of little frogs and they cast each other excited looks. The little girl had fallen silent, paralyzed by excitement. “Go on, CeeCee!” someone hissed. “Yeah, ask her!” “C’mon, CeeCee—don’t be such a pollywog!” The speaker rallied at the insult. “I am NOT a pollywog!” she cried disdainfully. She squared her slim shoulders and looked straight back at Miss Piggy almost defiantly. “Um, are you really married to Uncle Kermit?” Piggy blinked and blushed a little. “Um, yes,” she said, looking at Kermit. “We got married about two months ago.” “You’re very pretty,” said CeeCee shyly. “I like your hair.” “Well how nice of you to say so, CeeCee.” Always call them by name, Piggy thought automatically. “You have some very nice curls yourself.” CeeCee gawped and stammered “thank you” almost inaudibly. This is easy, Piggy thought giddily. Girl stuff is easy. “Um, can I hold your hand while we walk back to the swamp?” “Of course,” Piggy said, over an absolute chorus of protests from the other little frogs. They were all clamoring to hold onto her. Normally, the press of a crowd made Piggy antsy, strung with nervous energy, but then the crowds she usually found herself in were full of strangers and paparazzi. There were no cameras here, she thought ruefully. And no strangers. Just…family. She looked across at Kermit, who was struggling to hold at least fourteen small webbed hands himself. As if sensing her gaze, Kermit looked up. Their eyes met for a long moment as they smiled at each other. Kermit’s right, Piggy thought simply. Everything’s going to be okay.