When the job transfer of Michael's uptight careerist father occasions a move to another town, Michael finds himself living next door to (and much with) his maternal grandmother--a groovy old lady who paints, gardens, talks to her plants, sits on floor cushions (her only furniture), ministers to drug addicts, has bearded young friends, gives land to the Environmental Living Center, supports solar energy research, and, now, provides Michael with black bread, honey, love, and her late husband's flute. She's bound to run up against Dad who disapproves of Michael's musical interest, forces him to play on the company's Little League team, and--yes, hates Christmas. But the contest never comes to the draw because Grandmother starts seeing elephants that aren't there. At last, an excuse for Dad to have her committed--but before he does she disappears, leaving word of an unspecified ""extended trip."" Michael meanwhile has become very much attached, but we leave him strengthened by a decision to lead a secret, musical life apart from the ""other"" self his father demands--and buoyed by the arrival of a package (postmark too smudged to read) containing a miniature carved elephant. The way O'Hanlon draws her lines, it's a suitable symbol.