The story opens with two men, George and Lennie, walking to a farm where they are set to begin work the next morning. The men become tired from their walking, find a lake, and decide to rest. They begin to talk and it is shown through their discussions that George is in charge of the two men, making all the decisions, and that Lennie is very childlike. George notices that Lennie keeps sticking his hand into his jacket pocket and knowing his friend, tells Lennie to hand whatever is in his pocket over. Lennie obliges and takes a dead mouse out of his pocket explain that he was petting it because it was soft. This angers George who snatches the mouse and throws it across the lake complaining that without Lennie he would have a worry free life. After he calms down, George tells Lennie that if anything bad happens at the new farm the spot where they are now is to be where Lennie should run off to and hide in with George following. Lennie says that he wouldn’t forget then proceeds to ask George to tell what their dream farm is going to be like and about the rabbits. George obliges and eventually the two men fall asleep.
The next morning the two make it to the new farm later than expected and slightly annoys the owner. The owner begins to question the two men, but only Goerge answers because George told Lennie not to speak. This makes the new owner suppositious of Lennie and threatens to lower his wages, but George defends Lennie saying that Lennie isn’t smart but is a great worker. The owner hires the two men and tells them to go put their belongs down in the bunkhouse.
Once in the bunkhouse, George and Lennie meet Candy, an old “swamper” who is missing a hand and has an old sheepdog. Next the men meet Curly, the boss’s son. Curly is a mean man who is very protective of his newly-wed wife.. Once alone in the bunk house, Curly’s wife comes in and begins to flirt with George and Lennie. George does not like her but Lennie thinks she is “purty.” George proceeds to tell Lennie to stay far away from her, for she will cause no good. Soon the other ranch-hands return to the bunkhouse. George and Lennie meet Slim, who is looked up to by the other ranch-hands and is a skillful mule driver. Slim comments about how rare a friendships like George and Lennie’s exist on farm. Next the men meet Carlson, another ranch-hand. Carlson suggests that it is time for Candy to kill his old dog and takes one of Slim’s newly born puppies. Candy refuses and the men go to bed.
The next day, George and Slim play cards together in the bunkhouse. While playing, George tells Slim how trouble prone Lennie is. He explains to Slim how he and Lennie were forced out of their last town because Lennie was petting a woman’s dress because it was soft and she accused him of rape. Slim listens understandingly to George and offers to give Lennie one of his pups. Carlson overhearing this starts up again how Candy should just let him kill his old sheepdog. Slim agrees with Carlson’s...