The detente between China and the U.S., at least for young readers who care about animals, The tenor of this story may undermine the detente between China and the U.S., at least for young readers who care about animals. In the mid-fifties, according to the author's foreword, dogs, cats, sparrows, and rats were to be exterminated in order to conserve food for the people, who were faced with starvation, and this is how Sung, one young boy, attempted to save the life of his dog. Indeed, he succeeds, but only to the end that ""every day he could take comfort in the thought that the little dog was performing somewhere, endlessly circling, pulling the tiny plow while the monkey held the whip."" The symbolism becomes more apparent in the light of other aspects of the story, such as the separation of Sung's parents in order that each may work on a different national project, the casual reassignment of their home, and similar dehumanizations. The author is affiliated with the Committee for Free Asia, and he has presented a high impact though below the belt piece of propaganda. For young readers, perhaps a gentler version of a similar story is Meindert DeJong's The House of Sixty Fathers.