A coming-of-age drama about 9 year-old Ephraim and his constant companion sheep, Chuni, in the vast volcanic canyon land of Ethiopia. Ephraim's affection for Chuni deepened after he lost his mother to famine the year before. Consequently, his beloved father sends him and Chuni faraway from their drought-stricken homeland to live with his distant relatives in a greener part of the country. Ephraim soon finds himself to be a homesick outcast who is always getting into trouble. When his uncle orders him to slaughter the sheep for the upcoming holiday feast, Ephraim devises a devious scheme to save Chuni and return to his homeland.