Vannie Kirkland is spending the summer on her Aunt Bert's farm while her parents are looking for work in California. At first, she feels uncomfortable: Aunt Bert is cranky and plainspoken, and she constantly reminds Vannie of how much she dislikes Vannie's yappy little dog, Muffy. Then, just when Vannie is beginning to appreciate Aunt Bert and her way of life, trouble starts brewing. Someone has been lurking around the farm, vandalizing the property. To top it all off, Muffy gets lost! Vannie helps Aunt Bert figure out who's trying to scare them, captures the culprit, and learns a thing or two about what it means to compromise.