The setting is on a farm in a southern part of the US where the narrator and his new baby brother live
The narrator's baby brother is born physically challenged. The narrator is bothered and embarrassed by his baby brothers disabilities.
The narrator's prides convince him to teach Doodle his baby brother to be "normal". One afternoon the narrator, Doodle, and the family are eating. They all here this odd noise in the backyard. They find a scarlet ibis which dies in front of them. Doodle decides to bury the bird as he has developed a connection with it.