Lonely, ageing bachelor Mr Hoppy lives in a London flat and has two loves in his life - his balcony garden and Mrs Silver, the widow in the flat below. Sadly Mrs Silver is too fond of her tortoise Alfie to respond. Noting that Mrs Silver is perturbed that Alfie never seems to grow Mr Hoppy hatches a plan to show her how much he cares. This involves buying dozens of tortoises of increasing sizes to gradually substitute for Alfire, leading Mrs Silver to believe that a Bedouin chant - Esio Trot - is making her pet grow. However he is rumbled when one of the tortoises escapes. And, with another, brash resident vying for Mrs Silver's affections, will Mr Hoppy find happiness with the woman he loves?