Alarums and excursions distinguished the extraordinary friendship of David and the Phoenix. Their adventurous alliance began when David encountered the Phoenix declining the Latin verb vivo. The Phoenix gamely agreed to fill conspicuous gaps in David's education and the boy resolved to outwit the scientist who was intent on adding a Phoenix to his collection. Before the scientist was finally put to rout, the Phoenix had lost a battle with electrical power lines, David had been introduced to a Sea Monster, a Faun and a Banshee and he had witnessed the Phoenix rising from its own ashes. An easy reading tale of boy-meets-bird, for that segment of readers who enjoy whimsical fantasy.