When her master McCay calls her, the frisky, childlike Gertie appears from a cave. Her whip-wielding master has her do tricks such as raising her foot or bowing on command. When she feels she has been pushed too far, she nips back at her master. She cries when he scolds her, and he placates her with a pumpkin. Throughout the act, prehistoric denizens such as a flying lizard continually distract Gertie. She tosses a mammoth in the lake; when it teases her by spraying her with water, she hurls a boulder at it as it swims away. After she quenches her thirst by draining the lake, McCay has her carry him offstage while he bows to the audience.