Stag-Hunter-son approaches maturity with the deep misgiving that he will never achieve the true manhood of his Cro-Magnon contemporaries. A meditative child, he both dislikes and envies the intrepid Bear-Fighter-son, who lacks his artistic and intellectual zeal but is invincible in battle. Only after the two join, first in various harrowing puberty rites and then in actual battle with a wild animal, does it become clear to the young cave dweller that there are many types of strength and that he and his rival must unite their forces in order to achieve real power. An incongruous projection of contemporary manners into primitive context with the two evident purpose of proving that the hero ""in every important way...was just like you and your friends and your family"". An estimable thought- but not successfully handled.