Thousands of years in the future, a simple tribe of intelligent animals wanders the earth with a young boy, Jony, in their care, until the landing of a spaceship shatters their peaceful lives.
Using his wits against sophisticated weapons, Jony defends the People--the gentle tribe of animals--and face the conflict of his allegiance to his protectors and his need to be among his own kind.
With ironic understatement, the author points out the foolish and even dangerous distinctions we draw between humans and animals.
On a far planet, half the galaxy from Earth
The People had saved and raised the three children after they were abandoned on the frontier planet.
The People, an intelligent race of animals, adopted them into the warm safety of their primitive but happy lives despite their ingrained hatred of humans...
And then the Terran scoutship landed, forcing Jony, his brother, and sister into the middle of a conflict between their own race, who held their instinctive allegiance, and the People, the only family they ever had.
Jony spoke directly to the spacemen. "Now listen very carefully, both of you. I think this whole lab should be smashed. I don't like cages, and I don't like people who hurt my friends. Do you understand that?"
"We weren't hurting them - we were testing ..." one of the Terrans returned.
"I have seen what happens to lab 'animals.' You believe those People are animals, don't you?" He bore in fiercely.
"But," protested the other human, "we have no intention of touching you or the children. Ask her - " he indicated Maba, "Whether she has not been well treated.
"I don't doubt it in the least," Jony returned. "You accepted her as one of your own kind. But we do not accept you as one of us! We are of the People - " he motioned towards Yaa and Voak.
"You are human stock," the spacemen said hotly.
Jony replied firmly, "We are of the People."