Mary Louise, a six-year-old girl, has a cruel stepmother Kitty. One day a new house cleaner, Ruby, starts working at the house. Mary Louise starts spending time with her in the basement, which becomes her safe space. She has a favorite book and a flannel blanket, Bankie. After dinner, Mary Louise sees a string pinned to Ruby’s bra strap, which is attached to a green flannel bag. Ruby tells her it is a conjure hand, full of conjure magic, and it is meant to bring her money and fortune. The next day, Ruby finds Mary Louise in the guest bedroom, upset. Kitty had thrown her special book in the incinerator. Mary Louise asks for some help from magic. Ruby goophers both Mary Louise’s room and Kitty’s bed. Kitty wakes up the next day with clumps of her hair on her pillow. A few days later, Ruby finds Mary Louise in the laundry chute. As she had been watching her Disney show, Kitty came in angrily and cut up Bankie, flushing it down the toilet. Only one piece was left under the couch. Ruby tells Mary Louise a story about a girl that turns into a mouse, one that closely mirrors the child’s own. Then, they make a “Peaceful Home” bag like Ruby’s green bag, using Mary Louise’s last remaining piece of Bankie. She has to give it a drink daily – traditionally it is alcohol, but for her they decide on bubbly ginger ale. Then, the ginger ale goes flat and Mary Louise worries the magic will stop, so she sneaks into the liquor cabinet. That evening, Kitty accuses Ruby of drinking while working – Mary Louise had not locked the cabinet door – and fires her. Mary Louise goes to the basement, desperately wishing for magic and turns into a mouse. She settles in the pocket of Ruby’s coat, leaving with her.