The creatures of Larkwood have just finished building their castle, when the King has a dream. The dream warns him to store up nuts for winter, and to begin raising earthworms so the creatures will have enough to eat. A weasel who is appointed to take care of the worms begins raising silkworms instead of earthworms. He plans to make more money that way.
A magpie, suffering from the weasel’s scheme, hits on the idea of selling mirrors. These, along with silk scarves, become very popular throughout the kingdom. The only problem is, the people are hungry again. The King’s council suggests raising earthworms again, but the weasel outwits them, and they begin selling fancy titles, to make the creatures feel better about themselves. Luckily the magpie uses the profits from his mirror business to import earthworms from another country, saving the creatures from hunger.
The weasel suggests taxing the imported worms, but his cousins the tax collectors take more than they should. An angry mole argues with some weasels with fancy titles. The mole holds up his mirror, telling the weasels to take a good look at themselves. If you look at yourself in a mirror, you see what you want to see, but if someone forces you to look into a mirror, it shows you as you really are. In this way the mole discovers a weapon of war.
Trouble is brewing. Some mysterious creatures dress up as Wanderers and dump the imported worms in the river. A maenad maid opens a jar of wood worms in the nut bin. A disgruntled satyr opens a jar full of moths in the silk depository. No one knows who is to blame, but everyone suspects one another. Finally the creatures divide themselves into the “Roots” and the “Twigs,” and go to war.
After two battles, winter sets in. Both the Roots and the Twigs get reinforcements. Meanwhile the captain of the King’s guards sends for help from the Southern Kingdom. Then he unravels all the trouble the weasel has caused, and arrests him. When springtime comes, the armies prepare for another battle.
The last battle begins, but the infant Prince George wanders onto the battlefield. The captain of the King’s guards makes a passionate speech, calling for an end to the war. Help arrives from the Southern Kingdom, but too late: the Roots and Twigs are friends again.