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In Minuet, the townspeople are expert dancers; music is strictly prohibited. But three adventurous children – Madolyn, Wesley, and Doh – set out one afternoon and discover music for themselves in the sounds of the woods: the rustling of the fallen leaves, the raindrops falling through the trees, the whistling of the fall breeze.

Returning home, the three children are eager to share their discoveries with Moyra the Mayor, Dervish the Dance Instructor, and Philomena the Philosopher. They learn the hard way that music is forbidden in Minuet. But at the edge of town, their music catches the ears of Seemore and Melodia, who tell them about a land not far away “where music is the only method.” Encouraged, the children set out at once to find it.

On their way through the woods, they wake a creature. Silent, six-legged Susie, apparently a menace to the countryside, chases Madolyn, Wesley, and Doh into the River Glissando. Suddenly the children are all alone, far from home.

Frightened and soaking wet, they wander from town to town, listening for music and looking for a way home. Each town they come across teaches them a new kind of song. In Reverie, a babysitter sings lullabies all the time – day and night. In Turnip Stew, delightful music accompanies a display of culinary excess. And in a brief Intermezzo in the woods, a troupe of wandering jokesters sets riddles to song.

With each encounter, Madolyn, Wesley, and Doh learn something new about Susie. She is a lonely creature, the last of her kind, from a time when music was in the wind. When the children find out that Susie can only be soothed with a song, their journey home takes on added significance – as the children well know, the people of Minuet refuse to sing.

But before they make it back to Minuet, they discover the land that Seemore and Melodia spoke of, “where music is the only method.” There, they find beautiful music, but no dancing of any kind – only song. Not quite satisfied, Madolyn, Wesley, and Doh return home just in time to save their town from Susie: drawing upon their new musical talents, the children sing her a song, and she falls asleep. The relieved citizens of Minuet finally recognize the power of music, and the children, for their part, realize that music and dance belong together.