Gooseberry had a home like others among his friends, except that his mother was afraid of dogs -- the thing Gooseberry wanted more than anything in the world. When he brought home the one dog in the world that had to be his, his mother said the dog must go-so Gooseberry went too. This happened three times- and three times he won reprieve for the dog and punishment for himself. One feels the anguish of the lonely only child and there's almost too much sadness, but in the end Gooseberry and his mother come to an understanding and there's a happy ending. The swamp country in the deep south is very real -- and it is only incidentally that one realizes that Gooseberry is a Negro.