On a dark night, as the clock strikes eight, a mother sends her child upstairs to bed with only a candle for light. The child is wary, then frightened. The child hears something climbing the stairs. We see a birdlike man, his head like a crescent moon, stealthily then noisily approach the child's room. Mother appears to kiss the child good night. Has the sandman been a figment of the child's imagination? Then, he appears in the child's room and, as the child sleeps, leans over and takes something, leaps to the window, throws open the sash, and flies to a nest where two hungry fledglings cry. What has the sandman brought them?