Cantuffa is a thick thorn bush which once covered much of the land of Ethiopia, preventing any progress until it had been cut away. For this reason an emperor about to make a voyage across the country proclaimed, ""Cut down the cantuffa in the four quarters of the world, for I know not where I am going."" This story helps to shack away at some of the thorns which still obscure this nation. It describes the young boy Teffera, left in charge of his family's farm and sheep while his father was undergoing an operation. When a ferangi, an American, came to his small village to help teach new methods of caring for the sheep, Teffera had to decide whether he should accept this advice. His people had had substantial reason to mistrust the Westerners, and he was instilled with pride in own traditions, but on the other hand his flocks were dying. Although readers may lose interest in the descriptions of the sheep and their state of health, this book has the dual value of illuminating the character of the Ethiopian peasant and of providing an insight into the problems they must face in adapting to progress while maintaining their national spirit. E. Harper Johnson's pencil drawings are almost photographic in detail--like the story they are somewhat unimaginative but honest.