A band of squirrels brings peace offerings to Old Brown the Owl in exchange for the nuts on his island. But one squirrel, Nutkin, spends all his times yelling riddles at the old owl and playing nine-pins with pine cones while the other squirrels gather nuts He’s determined to be a nuisance and refuses to see danger in being impertinent, especially to Old Brown. Five times the squirrels come to the island to gather nuts, and each time Nutkin insists on being ridiculous. Old Brown ignores Nutkin for five days, but on the sixth day, when Nutkin begins shouting his riddles, Old Brown lashes out at Nutkin. He intends to skin Nutkin, but the ornery squirrel escapes. However, he doesn’t get off scott-free. In order to get away, Nutkin pulls so hard his tail brakes in two. The stub that is left is a constant reminder of his foolishness.