Jim Martin and his family live in an arid plains region where drought is a way of life. Martin has tried every means of rainmaking, from flying kites to shooting off gunpowder. His wife, Jennifer, is supportive though her husband has become a laughing stock among other ranchers. His nine-year-old son, Tad, fights other boys in the district because they ridicule his father. When Jim hears of an old-timer in Rock Springs who is able to conjure water, he seeks him out and learns the old-timer believes that the source of his water is a mysterious tree planted years ago. Jim takes a shoot from this tree back to his own ranch. The sapling requires so much water that Jim is forced to steal from his neighbour’s nearly dry creek. But Jim believes the tree is miraculous when he successfully builds a water well.