Setting is between summer and fall; around 1915(WW1); southern U.S. close to the Atlantic. The narrator (Brother) lives on a farm with his family.
The family receives a new baby boy (Doodle) who is a special needs child. The child is very weak. The child is born an outcast even in his own family.
The narrator finally teaches Doodle to walk and then they find a scarlet ibis dead. It was an outcast in the area and it was so weak that it fell out of a tree and died. Doodle felt a connection to this bird.
Brother tries to teach Doodle how to be normal at Old Mothers Swamp. Doodle becomes too exhausted to continue. A storm approaches and the siblings try to run home. Doodle gets left behind, Brother comes back to him and finds Doodle dead.
The brother realized how many similarities there were between Doodle and the Scarlet Ibis. He then covers Doodle's body with his own.
Brother realized that it was his pride that had caused the death of Doodle.