When that prevalent childhood dream of winning a pony becomes a reality, Jean Monroe is ecstatic. But the small-minded neighbors in Dogwood Estates object to a horse on the lawn, and the eleven-year-old, after episodes with misplaced hooves and poop, reviews her options. Mom, a preoccupied widow, is effectively out of the picture so Jean, already nursing odd-man-out resentments, moves independently. Playing hookey (which the principal later excuses), she finds an old house with horses grazing out back and approaches the owner, Alice Remington, about a temporary home for Hopscotch. Alice, who serves sherry to Jean and rambles absentmindedly, has a tax problem and a tenant house, without plumbing, on the grounds. Inexorably, Jean cooks up the mutually beneficial scheme that relocates the Monroes and saves the Remington acreage. Despite some nice incidental touches--lepidoptery and chess in the background--overdrawn characters and a pat solution.