Like any nine-year-old, Eva (Birch) wants a dog. Stepdad is a cop with allergies to animal hair, and so he's no help. Mommy (Rogers) reckons that Eva isn't ready for the responsibility of a pet, since her room's a mess. Issues of trust, autonomy and self-realisation are at stake. Meanwhile, gypsy organ-grinder Shorty (Keitel) and his capuchin have attracted the attention of a pair of hoods who want the light-fingered monkey for a heist. The creature goes AWOL, hides in a tree and falls in Eva's lap. She keeps him, hides him, loves him, even puts a nappy on him. Very annoying.