It's a story of Ibiza, one of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the IsLand of Fish in the Frees (1962). Tal's father departs to get married, but leaves the boy firm: instructions about cleanliness (""not throwing your Clothes all about, and changing your shirt at least every day, and washing if you haven't been swimming, and green vegetables, and weeding the garden."") Both Tal and the house-keeper Bruja Vieja are suspicious of the transformation from the comfortable old bachelor existence. To make the best of things they take the appropriate steps to obtain a Barruget (sort of a genie) which when released from his bottle, is ravenous for either work or food. It's a modern folktale, by an author skillful at making exotic settings seem both simple and uniquely special.