This is a tender, lyrical tale inspired by the author's childhood in an idyllic English village, with environmental and conservational themes. In this involving tale, master storyteller Michael Morpurgo tells of a boyhood in an idyllic Suffolk village fifty years ago. The village is a stone's throw from the sea, with a gull on every chimney stack, and is peopled by quirky characters such as the three Stebbing sisters, the white moustachioed Colonel Burton and Bennie the village thug. But the heroine of this story is the serene Mrs. Pettigrew, who lives in a railway carriage down in the marshes with her dogs, donkey, bees and hens - and who befriends the young Michael and lets him ride over the marshes on her donkey. But industrial reality intrudes when plans are made to build a nuclear power station on the site of the marshes, endangering Mrs. Pettigrew's home and the gulls, owls, kestrels and thousands of insects and plants which also belong there.