This story takes place in 1918 on an American cotton field in the South. The narrator's brother, Doodle, is born with a weak heart which prevents him from doing anything too strenuous.
The narrator is upset that his younger brother, Doodle, was born with disabilities and is unable to walk. He makes Doodle his pride and decides to teach him how to walk, run, swim, and climb.
One day while the narrator and his family were eating lunch, they hear an odd croaking noise outside and decidedto see what is was. When they arrived outside, they found a scarlet ibis that was nearly dead because of an earlier storm. After the bird died, the rest ofthe family went inside and watched as Doodle buried it in the yard.
Doodle had not reached his older brother’s expectations and ruined the narrator’s pride. While running home in the rain, Doodle fell behind and the narrator didn’t go back for him because Doodle had disappointed him.
When he realized that Doodle hadn’t followed him, the narrator walked back and found his younger brother next to a road hiding under a bush with his face hidden behind his arms. After the narrator lifts Doodle’s head up he notices that he was bleeding from his mouth and realized that his brother was dead.
After the narrator finds out that his brother is dead, he notices that Doodle’s death looked similar to the scarlet ibis that Doodle buried earlier that day. At the end of the story the narrator regrets letting his selfish pride get in the way of preventing Doodle’s death.