A nine-year old monk, Do-nyum, has lived most of his lonely life in a quiet mountain monastery under his elderly master. Though put under a strict regimen of Buddhist teachings, meditation and chores, the child cannot help but to think of his mother, whom he cannot remember but misses dearly and hopes to be reunited with one day. He also wishes that he could be like the other children who live nearby and play games and attend school. Do-nyum's other companion is an older monk named Jung-sim, who is also struggling with staying on the path of enlightenment. The temple's groundskeeper keeps reassuring Do-Nyum that his mother will come back someday. But Do-nyum, sick of waiting for a mother who may never return, agrees to be adopted by the monastery's benefactor, a wealthy widow who visits the temple every year to mourn her late son.