There is a Rumanian tradition of caroling, called colindat. In some villages, the carolers are accompanied by a drum, a duba, that is played only on Christmas Eve for the colindat. The carolers go from house to house, and the villagers give them gifts in return. In one such village, a boy named Peter anxiously awaits the return of his father on Christmas Eve. If Papa doesn't get back in time, Peter must lead the colindat and play the duba in his place. Peter has been to rehearsals, but he still can't get his drumming right. Papa is not home in time, and Peter goes to meet the other carolers. He hesitates, but the drum tells him he can play. And he can. Peter's drumming is excellent, and the colindat is wildly successful. When the carolers reach Peter's house, they even let him sing a solo. As he is singing, Papa comes home. He puts the tired little Peter to bed and gives him the duba for his very own. Hooper (The Violin Man, 1991) places a universal story in a unique setting; the result is an unusual and satisfying Christmas tale.