Walter, bored because his parents and older sister Boots are busy with their farm chores, tries to trap a hummingbird in their country mailbox and accidentally kills it instead. There follows a little lecture from Boots--""Not all creatures want you to love them. . . . Try a little respect first, and then wait and see what they want""--after which Walter ""shows respect"" for his fireflies, ants and turtle and lets them go. Before lunch, though, Boots disappears and returns with a new puppy for Walter, who names it Bird and finds that this animal does want his love. More lesson than literature, but the lesson is a useful one and Gackenbach's sympathetic drawings of the appealingly plain children and their rural background give it a nice relaxed feeling.