The evanescent story of a young African afraid his oldest brother will carry out his threat of shooting an aardvark. ""Big Maroo"" appears to Toto Mebila one night and assures him that he, the aardvark, can outwit brother Julius. But Toto, protective and dubious, investigates the area, speaking with a moth, dragonfly, owl, hoopoe, etc. (whose dream-like remarks contrast with the down-to-earth conversations in his home) before disguising the aardvark mound. The picture-book size illustrations, which pick up the moody tonality, are monotonous and give the book a too-young look. Not obtrusive in its nature-communing, but rarefied and almost plotless.