Lazy Paddy would rather shirk than work -- even though mother sets a perfect example. The thistle in the field overran the land, but Paddy procrastinated, insisting that the down would make a nice soft bed. Finally the time came to pluck the down, but to Paddy's surprise bed-making was hard work. Choosing the better of two evils, Paddy clears the field and plants a vegetable garden instead, fulfilling mother's original plan. The story incorporates a fable-like quality without the smooth unfolding of plot and the classical illustrations. Sheila Perry's stark modern drawings in bright colors seem overwhelming and out of keeping with the spirit.