This is a lyrical story from the butterfly heart of Africa. Bul-Boo and Madillo are worried about their friend Winifred, who has lost her gentle smile and no longer puts up her hand in class. Then the twins discover her secret: she is to be married off to her uncle's friend, who drinks heavily and is old enough to be her grandfather. While Winifred has become resigned to her fate, her friends are determined to put a stop to the marriage. But what can they do? They ask the advice of Ifwafwa, the snake man, who promises to think about the problem. Ifwafwa is wise and has a gift with snakes, but he does not like to hurry and Bul-Boo becomes impatient. Will he be too late to save their friend?