Borderline science fiction/fantasy with stratified symbolism that reads like Plato's ""parable of the cave"" in raw outline. Dilar leaves the dark world of his Raft People (who are looking for ""a Better Place"") to find the legendary world of ""green"" and ""day."" Climbing up a (rabbit?) hole, he encounters sunlight and green trees and Dorna of the People Against the Tigers. After sharing their pleasant but no-future-planning life, he stumbles into the cave of a devout animal-lover whose concern for the welfare of his four-footed friends blots out care for the boy's human desires. Escaping, he passes the Not people (who almost ignore him) and, still looking for a Wise Man, he comes upon Vigan, who doles out the answers dramatically. He explains the Raft People--how they retreated to the underground river after a harsh life on earth and refused to admit their mistake--but cannot dissuade Dilar from wanting to return and lead them back to the light. ""To do a difficult and dangerous thing is the reason for being young and strong."" Until he gets to Vigan the fuzziness is frustrating, and once explained the ""truth"" sounds facile.