Will Hennie is kept in a dark box by a woman called Bee. He is only let out to eat and use the outhouse, and occasionally for a visit with a nice woman he knows as Gram. Otherwise, he is not to be seen or heard, especially not by the man of the house.
Then one day the man comes home early and catches Will out of his box. He knocks Will upside the head, and when he wakes, Bee is sending him away with nothing but the clothes he has on and a few pieces of chicken.
When Will Hennie is kicked out of his home and sent out into the world on his own with nowhere to go, he is eight years old.