With a new French Canadian family moves into a neighboring farmhouse, Johnny takes to small, reddish-haired Giles at once, even though it's generally agreed that there is something queer about the lot. As the friendship grows Johnny learns that Giles feels rejected by his father, and he helps him win the gruff man over by offering to clean up and repair the house and barn. At the same time Johnny discovers that Giles and his mother are ""were fox"" (they don't attack people as werewolves do) and the two boys begin to run together in the woods at night -- Johnny on his two human feet and Giles in the form of a fox. Later a man with hounds moves in and organizes a hunt; Giles, drawn by the challenge, becomes a fox, and is only saved from the hunters at the last minute when his father holds them off -- thus proving his love and winning Giles'. It's all rather silly in cold synopsis, although Coatsworth does manage to evoke a mood of magic in the boys' secret outings.