he setting and patois of this story are Southern French, but Paulo is like any 11-year-old an where. He hates his household chores, likes adventure, and wants to impress his companions, particularly his rival Jean-Jean, and Nicolette, whom he looks down upon because she is a girl. When his grandfather, a charcoal burner, suddenly became ill, Paulo was entrusted with the job of driving through the woods to the kilns to collect the freshly made charcoal. The mission seemed particularly exciting because of rumors that a wolf had strayed into the area. The charcoal burning was successfully completed but when Paulo went in search of his dog, he could only find the tracks of the wolf. In revenge, he bravely followed the footprints into the lair where he discovered some old pewter. The events are unlikely, the ending is a cliche, but the character of the boy lends freshness to the story as his moods vary from petulance, when he throws pebbles at Jean-Jean, to the fascination of watching silkworms or the wonder at finding the wolf.