Carl Hiaasen's novel Hoot consists of twenty-one chapters and an epilogue. In chapter twenty, the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Mother Paula's pancake house is taking place. Mullet Fingers, whose real name is Napolean Bridger Leep, has been trying to stop construction through various tricks. He wants to stop construction in order to save the burrowing owls on the property. During the groundbreaking ceremony, Mullet Fingers has buried himself in one of the owl dens with only his head sticking out. He has a bucket of "snakes" with him that he threatens to let out if they go forward with construction. Chuck Muckle, the vice president of the Mother Paula's organization, calls his bluff by taking his gold-painted shovel and hacking the snakes to pieces. They are made out of rubber.
Roy tells the crowd that there are owls on the property and the pancake house will destroy their habitat. He tries to prove his point, but the pictures they took to prove the owls lived on the property were grainy and dark. The students who are at the groundbreaking ceremony join hands to prevent the bulldozers from beginning the groundbreaking. At the end of chapter twenty, a burrowing owl lands on Mullet Fingers's head, proving their existence.
In chapter twenty-one, the press, present for the groundbreaking ceremony, reports the entire story in the newspaper the next day. Roy's family meets Kelly Colfax, a reporter Chuck Muckle assaulted during the groundbreaking. Roy's dad gives Kelly Colfax an envelope that contains the file for the Mother Paula's project. Roy's father got the file from the courthouse and had it examined by lawyers who were experts in environmental law. The file was missing the environmental impact statement, which proves Chuck Muckle and Curly Branitt knew about the owls and tried to cover it up.
In the epilogue, the Gazette reports that the environmental impact statement turned up in the golf bag of Councilman Grandy, along with an envelope containing $4,500. This scandal permanently shuts down construction of the restaurant on the property at East Oriole and Woodbury. Chuck Muckle was demoted to Assistant Junior Vice President and was court-ordered to take an anger management class. Mother Paula's company pledges to create an owl sanctuary on the property.
Mullet Fingers ends up in juvenile detention when his mother reports that he stole her valuable toe ring. He manages to escape juvenile detention by using his cell mate, Dana Matherson, as a decoy.