Fourteen-year-old Philip is virtually unable to communicate. He has long abandoned any attempt to talk to anyone but his friend ""The Moorman"" and only then in an agonizing stammer. This is the story of Philip's emergence from his private world during a year which first brought the White Colt, a wild Scottish moor pony with which he established an instant rapport before the colt's disappearance, then Lady, a sturdy little falcon, compliments of The Moorman (a solitary, retired Army Colonel) to compensate for the loss of the pony. But Lady is badly injured in a careless accident brought on by the boy's frenzy at the reappearance of the colt. Philip learns care and love before a second tragedy that destroys Lady. Finally there is the almost fatal night with the colt mired in the bog and the boy forced to reach out for help...to his mother who has guiltily waited for years for a word from her son. A difficult tale to assess since the ingredients are there, the writing is sensual ...even poetic. But the characters are mere frames, the boy a curiosity piece, slightly insipid. And his relationship to the colt is a trifle too symbolic.