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Little Kate and Ms. May take a trip to see the house where Ms. May's brother first saw the borrowers. They meet Tom Goodenough, who was the boy with the ferret in The Borrowers and who happened to know what happened to them after they left their home in search of Uncle Hendreary in the badger's set. He relates the story Arrietty told him, to Kate.

After running away into the field they find shelter in an old boot. They spend their days gathering berries and nuts to eat, fixing up their boot, and exploring. Homily constantly worries about winter coming, but they have many worries during the rest of the year as well. There are snakes, worms, mice, moths, and owls to deal with. Then two of their weapons are borrowed.

This makes them worried until they meet Spiller, another borrower that didn't know the ethics about not borrowing from another borrower. He provides them with meat, which they hadn't been able to obtain before he came, and it greatly appeases their appetites.

Trouble is coming, however. Winter comes and Homily is fully resigned to dying in her spot of the boot and never seeing spring again. The snow is covering everything in such a soft blanket that not only is there no food left, but Pod couldn't search for any if he wanted to. Then the "owner" of the boot, which was "borrowed" by him from its true owner long ago, comes back and finally finds it, with the borrowers in it.

It is up to Tom Goodenough to rescue the borrowers and reunite them to their long lost family.

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