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Julien is an old rather grumbling man who lives alone in his vast apartment of the 11th district in Paris.
A few days before, a very young woman and her small eight-years' daughter, Elsa, have moved in a one-room flat just above him. This young mother is cashier in a supermarket and, because of her premature pregnancy, prefers have fun at night rather than take care of her litle girl. And every evening Elsa is alone.
Abandoned, sad because of her lack of affection, Elsa has met Julien and spins a yarn : "My mother left during a week; she left me alone, I go away with you !" A run away under protection in a sense.
Julien says no, of course. But he does not know yet how Elsa is obsstinate and imaginative.