Reg, the twelve year old boy of a working mother from Harlem, is sent by a social worker to a "stupid farm" run by Quakers, for the summer. It's a disappointment from the first night when he learns that there's no horse--their old Dan'l has been dead for some time. Then the Bradshaws and particularly their son, Frank, don't seem to trust him--say to feed the cows or man the tractor. And things do seem to go wrong for Reg which he attempts to right with his fists, only Frank won't fight back. (Later he learns from Mr. Bradshaw that they're not fighting people--an often harder than easier alternative). Running away, briefly, Reg finds an old horse en route to the mink farm--to be eaten; he hides him in a cabin, cares for him, with fodder and equipment taken and/or stolen from the Bradshaws, who, eventually, will help him salvage his horse.... A strong message throughout which does not hobble the surface values of the story and the inescapable sympathy for Reg, and the style, a clean, lean prose, contributes.