On an intergalactic journey of colonization, 10-year-old Dody comes out of artificial hibernation 50 years too early. He is a childlike old man when his family is awakened by the computer to prepare the rest of the crew for landing. Because of Dody's showing off, he and his brother and sister land alone on the target planet. There they meet what appear to be the children from a previous ship, but who are actually the mobile parts of a vegetative being that covers much of the planet. Dody and his siblings escape to the mother ship, which returns to earth.