Two migrant workers, George and Lennie, have been let off a bus miles away from the California farm where they are due to start work. George is a small, dark man with Lennie, his companion, is his opposite, a giant of a man. Overcome with thirst, the two stop in a clearing to camp for the night. As the two converse, it becomes clear that Lennie has a mild mental disability, is deeply devoted to George and dependent upon him for protection and guidance. George finds that Lennie, loves petting soft things but often accidentally kills them, has been carrying and stroking a dead mouse. George complains loudly that his life would be easier without having to care for Lennie, but the viewer senses that their friendship and devotion is mutual. He and Lennie share a dream of buying their own piece of land, farming it, and much to Lennie's delight, keeping rabbits.