In every mouse's long life, there comes a time when ancestral voices tell him to move on. Pedlar, a yellow-necked mouse, has reached that point. Told to leave the Hedgerow and go on a long journey, the adventurous mouse says his farewells and sets out for a far-distant country knows as The House. Reaching his destination, Pedlar enters a strange new world inhabited by many warring tribes: the Stinkhorns of the cellar, the great Savage Tribe in the kitchen, the library Bookeaters, the Invisibles, the Deathshead and the rebellious 13-K Gang.
During his stay, Pedlar witnesses a momentous truce, in which the tribes come together at an Allthing meeting and decide to rid themselves of the greatest pests in The House, the greedy, stupid nudniks - the humans. And so the Great Nudnik Drive is set in motion, a time of considerable anxiety for the nudniks, when clocks strike twenty and inanimate objects seem to have a life of their own. Ranged against the mouse tribes are the nudniks' allies: the two cats, Eyeball the Burmese blue and Spitz the ginger tom; the Headhunter, a barbarian human child; and Little Prince, the Headhunter's cannibalistic pet white mouse. The House becomes a hotbed of riot and discord, until Pedlar finally comes up with a solution. The outcome of this heroic struggle has gone down in the annals of mouse history, a history tens of thousands of days long, and the whole remarkable tale is recorded here, between these pages.