Indian Jaya dreams of milk and butter and cheese and his father carefully saves rupees to buy the family a cow, but when Khubi (her name means ""Beautiful One"") arrives, she is so skinny and ugly that Jaya, disappointed, calls her a stupid pest. One day at the bazaar, however, Jaya has occasion to thank Khubi for following him around, for the cow saves him from the clutches of an angry shopkeeper who mistakes him for a thief. When the actual thief is caught and the apologetic merchant offers Jaya compensation, the boy chooses a collar for his now appreciated cow and is given a flute for himself as well. By the standards of regular fiction this is unexceptional (and wrapped up just too tight when those who had previously ridiculed Khuba find her beautiful in the new collar -- why must a cow be beautiful anyway?). However, the solid Indian background, filled in by the soft gray and sun-toned drawings, give it an edge on beginning readers.