The first thing Noris said to Cousin Tryg was, ""Does your whole family look funny?"" Later however he came to appreciate the gentle but strong Tryg (a ""white Scandinavian"") and to accept him as the companion he had lacked since his father's death. Tryg is quiet, competent about carrying on the work of the farm, self-conscious about his appearance and always particularly good to runts. Noris has all the sensitivity and nuisance habits of an 11 year old, heightened by the recent loss of his father. Although this story is unusually passive for young boys, Noris and his well drawn, evolving relationship with Tryg is easy to appreciate. And the Scandinavian/American farm setting is very well portrayed.