Varaday was warden of a private reserve in the Bechuanaland Protectorate. He found and raised Gara-Yaka after her mother was killed by a crocodile, who meets his own end at the close of the book in the coils of a python. In fulfilling his duties, Varaday had to protect animals from poachers, human and canine, and to reverse his role and hunt the elephants who invaded native villages. He had narrow escapes elephants and lions himself; he watched out for his growing pet as she made her way into her own world; and he welcomed her back after she had produced her first brood. The reader walks the preserve with Varaday and comes to know its denizens, their dramas and their destinies. Disneyesque in its extreme encounters.