Mouse has been a scullery maid for as long as she can remember. She doesn't know who her parents are, and she doesn't even have a real name. When she's beaten for eating scraps of food, she runs away. She comes upon a group of people traveling across the country and joins them, but they abandon her soon after. Mouse comes upon a puppeteer and begs to learn how to make the puppets dance. The puppeteer is reluctant at first, but agrees in exchange for Mouse doing chores. At first, Mouse is too eager, and breaks the strings of a marionette. The puppeteer leaves her, but comes back and agrees to give her another chance. Mouse learns how to sew costumes as well as carve replicas of the puppets. At last she's taught how to manipulate the puppets. Mouse ruins a puppet show by jumping in and moving one of the puppets before she has the skill. They spend weeks in the woods, living on the rations of food and whatever game they can catch, because they didn't get any money from the show. While there, they hear of a celebration in a village and decide to go there to put on a show. Mouse catches up with one of the people she traveled with at the start of the story. She also is finally able to take part in the show and make it a success. But, there's a secret about the puppeteer's identity that puts them both in danger. When two men recognize them, they attack Mouse and the puppeteer with swords. Although Mouse manages to defend herself against the attackers with a flaming branch, the puppeteer is seriously injured, and it's up to Mouse to find help. When she does, she learns the puppeteer's secrets, and gets an identity of her own.
This report prepared by Angela Tircuit