Known as an ermine when in her winter white, Mara is an aggressive hunter following primordial urges and upholding a fierce evolutionary heritage. Bringing up her kits, she protects and instructs with maternal vigor, sees them off one by one. On her own she goes on a killing spree after a cold spell leaves her nearly famished, also wages an ""internecine war"" with some local weasels. It's dog eat dog until she settles down at the Lindstrom Homestead where the man of the house saves her from the snares of Taggart the trapper. After a brief convalescence, she leaves her cage but remains near the Homestead with a male friend and awaits another litter. For those who want their animals wild, Mara has it made; for most, however, this will register as melodrama interrupted by biology.