A boy's passion for a hunting dog drives ten year old Billy Colman to unremitting labor to earn enough to buy the pair he wants and after two years he is able to have Grandp send away for Dan and Little Ann. Their training is successful, and boy and dogs glory in the joys of coon hunting with Billy learning he cannot let his dogs down even when it calls for superhuman efforts on his part. He fells a giant tree to get a coon, he fights a bigger boy to vindicate his dogs, and he is rewarded by the dogs' uncanny abilities to trail their prey. They win a competition and survive a blizzard and when they encounter a mountain lion boy and dogs save each other's lives but the dogs do not survive and Billy learns a sadder lesson. The rapport between the boy and his companions, the wonders of prowling the Ozark woods, the pursuit of ringtails, the simplicity of the Oklahoma life make this a book of unadorned naturalness for an audience with an outdoor bent.