When the baby was born, everyone thought that he was going to die. Daddy even had a coffin built for him. He was, from the outset, a disappointment.
"I'll tell Mr. Heath to build a little mahogany coffin for him."
However, he did not die and Brother decided to name the baby Doodle because he crawled backwards like a doodlebug. According to Brother, "Renaming Doodle was perhaps the kindest thing he ever did for him, because nobody expects much from someone named Doodle."
"We should call him Doodle!"
Doodle was very attached to his brother. He wanted to go everywhere with him. Because Doodle could still not walk, the brother had to drag Doodle around in a cart everywhere.
“ If I so as picked up my hat he would start crying to go with me…”
One day in Old Woman Swamp, Doodle's brother decided to teach him how to walk, as he did not want a disabled brother.
"I'm going to teach you to walk, Doodle."
Eventually, after a lot of training, he could finally walk and perform many other tasks as well. Brother was happy his brother could finally walk, so he wouldn't be embarrassed by Doodle not being able to walk.
Sitting at lunch, the family suddenly heard a loud croaking noise. It was coming from a fatigued Scarlet Ibis. The bird fell through the bleeding tree and lay still. At this moment, Doodle decided to bury the bird.
"I'm going to bury him."
"It's a scarlet ibis."
That same day the two boys went down to Horseshoe Landing for a swimming lesson. However, a terrible thunderstorm started, and the two boys ran for their lives.
Doodle's brother, being faster, left the boy behind. When the brother came back for Doodle, he found the boy sitting dead with blood covering his mouth, neck, and chest. Doodle had died. Brother cried for a very long time, knowing it was his fault Doodle had died. He learned that pride can be evil and he learned to accept and love people for who they really are.