Tom liked to fool around. . . . He did low and muddy fooling around and he did high and wobbly fooling around." But "It looks very like playing to me," says his maiden Aunt Fidget Wonkham-Strong who wears an iron hat and takes no nonsense from anyone, and so she sends for Captain Najork and his hired sportsmen ("They play hard games and they play them jolly hard") to teach Tom a lesson. But even though it's Tom alone against everyone else, he just mucks and fools around and puts them all to shame. And so in the end Captain Najork gets Aunt Fidget Wonkham-Strong and Tom gets the captain's boat and a new aunt, Bundlejoy Cosysweet, and everyone's happy -- including, inevitably, the reader (or better still listener), who might not realize the wisdom but is sure to enjoy the games, their outcome, and Hoban's cadenced, light-as-air sportscasting.