We first meet the main characters of the story, Mum, Dad, Aunt Nicey, Brother and William Armstrong. Brother did not like the name of William and wanted to change it. William has a disability and is not able to walk or do much for himself. He was not even meant to make it past the first couple months of life
Brother re-names William to Doodle but still does not like having a brother with a disability and having to cart him around everywhere. He even considers killing his brother to protect his pride.
Brother decides against his horrible thought and makes a promise to himself and Doodle that he will walk. Then after months of trying and taking Doodle down to old Woman's swamp, Doodle makes his first couple steps. Later, the family also finds the Scarlett Ibis which dies from exhaustion...
Doodle can now easily walk and is learning to swim but a storm hits and they decide they need to get home. They take off but because Doodle walked down, he does not have his cart to get home faster.
Doodle begins to fall behind and starts calling for brother to help him. Brother hears Doodle and knows he is behind but he starts to run faster to push Doodle even further. He gets home and looks back to see where Doodle is
Brother realises that Doodle is not coming and sprints back to find him. After searching he finds Doodle under a tree motionless and blood on his shirt and neck. Brother had taken it too far and killed Doodle from exhaustion, the same cause that the Scarlett Ibis encountered.