Should the only son of a poor Greek farmer follow the schoolmaster's urging to go to school in the city? No, says his father who wants to fatten his daughter's dowries, even though thirteen-year-old Nikos feels ""the humiliation of poverty working in him the way lava works in a volcano."" Yes, says the rich man from the city whose drowning grandson Nikos rescues. Yes, says a philosopher tourist, who insists the ""village idiot"" is the happiest person in town. An inferno of fire imagery for the learning process--readers won't care a fig.