Ten year old Peter Burke's troubles began when he gave his heart to Tornado, a lovable baby goat as affectionate as a puppy but with the digestion of a garbage-disposal unit. All supplies and equipment were important on the Devil's Doorstep, a fire-watching station in the Rockies where Peter lived with his parents and a placid white mule. Their only contact came by way of helicopter, and when the fractious Tornado, who had been taken on trial, really started to eat them out of house, home and supply shed, heartbroken Peter had his father's orders to take the little goat down the mountain and lose him. Tornado proved as hard to lose as he was to control and the boy, the mule and the goat were caught by a forest fire. There is genuine excitement in their terrible night spent soaking with other animals (some normally ferocious) in a stream where the racing fire had forced them.