Mosley, and his family of four legged Thoriphants, live a worker's life on an isolated farm owned by Simon - a sullen, and mean-spirited farmer. One evening, after plowing all day, Mosley's son, Rue, comes bounding over to his father telling him he has discovered something magical in the woods near the farm. Bera, Mosley's pregnant wife, encourages Mosely to go with Rue. Although Mosley is tired, he follows his young son into the woods and discovers the reason for Rue's excitement - it's a cave with large ancient drawings on the walls - they're of Thoriphants similar to Mosley and Rue except they stand upright! Is this what the Thoriphant race used to be? What happened to cause them to become bent backed creatures without hands?