Life in the miniature village at Little Fordham seemed ideal for "the Borrowers," the family of pencil-sized people, especially for Homily, who had always longed for a proper house with proper furnishings. Then Arrietty committed the indiscretion of making friends with a human being, Miss Menzies, telling her all about their secret world. Before Pod or Homily was aware of what was happening, the three of them were kidnaped by a greedy couple, Mr. and Mrs. Platter, who owned a rival miniature village in which they wer going to exhibit the tiny trio as a live attraction the following spring. Imprisoned in the Platters' attic through the winter, the Borrowers' initial despair gave way to plans for escape. There was not much hope of success until Arrietty, poring over old numbers of the Illustrated London News, discovered the article of ballooning.