The humorous adventures of a pelican and ten-year-old boy and girl in a world where the line between reality and make-believe is not always clear. A Pelican lands on a beach in Finland and becomes so fascinated by humans that he decides to settle down and live like them. The Pelican gets a job at the opera house, befriends two children, a boy and a girl, and falls in love with a lovely, swan-like ballerina. But then the Pelican is dramatically unmasked and taken away to the zoo. The children help him escape. The Pelican, disillusioned with the ways of the humans, bids farewell to his friends and returns to his life as a bird. One summer afternoon a Pelican lands on a sandy beach in Finland. He finds some clothes, puts them on and the process of becoming civilised begins. He gets a job backstage at the opera house and falls in love with the swan-like ballerina Helena, who dances the lead in Swan Lake. No one suspects the Pelican is a bird, not even the curious Landlady who is allergic to birds. Until he meets ten-year-old Emil who immediately sees that the Pelican is a bird dressed up as a man. Emil and his mother have just moved to town and live on the same block as the Pelican. Emil and the Pelican become friends; and the Pelican’s true identity remains a secret between them. Emil teaches the Pelican to read. The Pelican discovers books and newspapers; poetry and science; love and philosophy. Emil and the Pelican explore the city together. And Emil, too, learns from the Pelican. One day, Elsa turns up; a pretty girl the same age as Emil. Emil resents Elsa; feels she is coming between him and the Pelican. However, all three of them soon become good friends. At the tenants' annual harvest party, the Pelican charms everyone. He dances with the lovely Helena - his transformation from bird to human is complete. His success makes him self-confident and he becomes over confident. Emil leaves town to visit his father in the country and disaster strikes. A caucus of indignant tenants led by the Landlady exposes the Pelican. He is captured by the forces of law and taken to the zoo. Emil returns from his visit to the country the very same day, unaware of the drama unfolding on the block. Emil and Elsa help the Pelican escape from the zoo. The Pelican, disappointed and tired of his adventure as a human, decides to become a bird again. The Pelican and Emil part on the same beach where the Pelican’s adventure started. Emil has lost a friend, but he has learnt much about life.