Perro Viejo was taken away from his mother at birth and has known no other life than that of servitude on a sugar plantation. His name, which means “Old Dog,” was given to him by the plantation master because, like the bloodhounds that chased fugitive slaves, Perro Viejo is always searching for the scent of his long lost mother. The only thing that keeps him alive is the memory of Asunción, a beautiful girl he once met while washing his master’s horses at a river. Never to see her again, he closes his heart to all forms of love. Nearing the end of his life, Perro Viejo meets Beira, an old slave who is avoided by the other slaves because they think she is a witch. She warms Perro Viejo’s heart, and together they hatch a plan to escape from slavery. Young readers join Perro Viejo as he finally learns what it is to love — and to feel free.