Every day, Billy walks by the old Grubber, which his mom tells him was a candy store, dreaming of someday buying it and selling candy to children. On one afternoon, though, the boarded up old place has a Sold sign on it. Pretty soon, renovations are under way, and Billy longs to find out what the place is going to become. He doesn’t have to wait long, though, because soon the Ladderless Window Washing Company is open for business.
Billy meets the new proprietors, and is astonished at the brilliance of their plan. The giraffe with an extending neck acts as the ladder, the pelican holds the wash water in his pouch, and the monkey sits atop the giraffe and washes the windows. They haven’t washed any windows yet, though, and they are very hungry.
While Billy is getting to know them, a chauffeur pulls up with a note from the Duke. The Duke is the richest man in England, with over 600 windows! The giraffe, pelican, and monkey take Billy along as they make their way to the Duke’s estate.
When they arrive, the Duke is frustrated because his gardener can’t reach the best cherries at the top of the tree with his ladder. The pelican, with Billy in his pouch, swoops over to pick and deliver the cherries to the Duke. Even though they haven’t washed any windows yet, the Duke hires them to pick all his cherries and apples from then on.
The giraffe, pelican, and monkey wash all the windows on the fourth floor of the mansion. They move down to the third floor and see a burglar stealing the duchess’ jewels. Before anyone can call the police, the pelican captures the burglar in his pouch and holds him until the police arrive. The pelican opens his beak for the police, and the burglar is the most famous criminal in all of England.
The Duke invites the giraffe, monkey, and pelican to live with him and be his official window-washers. He has special flower trees for the giraffe to eat from, walnut trees for the monkey, and a salmon stream for the pelican. None of them ever has to be hungry again.
Then he turns to Billy and asks what he would like. Billy says that more than anything, he wants to open the old Grubber again and sell candy. The Duke sets Billy up in business, and on the grand opening, Billy lets everyone come and eat candy for free. They all say goodbye, and Billy promises to visit his new friends soon.