SNAP - went the jaws of the trap and in an instant her life was over. When Ernesto, the food and name obsessed badger, becomes orphaned he dreams of travelling after listening to the tales of the birds who fly south for the winter.
He befriends Samantha, a hot tempered young otter, and they board a ship bound for America in search of Ernesto’s distant cousins. It is not long before Ernesto stands on deck waxing lyrical about America as the ship steams under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Brussels is the most popular lonely dog in town. He became lost almost a year ago and still lives in hope that his Mary will find him. When Samantha and Ernesto meet Brussels they decide they must help - aided by Walter, a French obsessed Pomeranian who begs outside the station and Jimmy, a scruffy, bum sniffing terrier who watches too many gangster films, the group set out to find ‘Wombat Gully’ and Brussels’ Mary.
Mary sits in the branches of a giant tree, it is the school holidays and she is soon to be joined by her cousins Polly and Tyler. As the long carefree days of summer begin, the three children reveal a secret to each other. They can ‘talk’ to animals, have real conversations, but they have kept this gift hidden from each other and the world, fearing they might be thought mad.
Ernesto, Brussels and Samantha make their way across the country, setting up a bark chain as they go. At their first stop Brussels meets Belle, a lovely, long, snowy white, world champion show dog. About to be farmed out to stud, Belle is aching to slip her humans and have a life of her own choosing. Belle and Brussels fall immediately in love and she joins in the quest to find Mary.
The furry party must traverse the states, sneaking onto trains, sharing trailers with menu reading spiders, dealing with emotionally challenged rats and strange dogs used to entertaining on a grand scale or forced to wear lacy bonnets – not to mention their own many and varied food demands, desires, cravings and fixations. Worst of all - Ernesto must digest the shocking news that he is not in America at all, as he had so long believed.
Polly, Tyler and Mary befriend Crazy, a sulphur crested cockatoo who must continually hang upside down, as a strange quirk of nature has made his vision the wrong way up. Crazy introduces the children to his bushland friends and when they encounter Max, Darcy and Raine, the young river rapid surfing bandicoots, they are told some terrible news. The river that everyone relies on for their fun, their food, their very survival, has been poisoned, even Gary, the platypus who constantly defends his prosaic, human centric name, will not swim or eat or drink from it.
His name is Henry Greedle and money is his god. It is Henry Greedle who has poisoned the river. Dougal Drysdale, Mary’s new stepfather, works at Greedle Industries. When he disappears after receiving a warning about the pollution from Mary, the children know that something is up. After getting no help from the police, Polly, Tyler and Mary decide that with the help of their animal friends, they must sneak into Greedle Industries, find Dougal and stop the flow of poison themselves.
Ultimately Ernesto, Samantha, Brussels and Belle find themselves on a collision course with Mary, Polly and Tyler, that will end in a shocking death and surprising rebirth, as they join forces to stop Henry Greedle and his organizations evil plans.