Young Stephanie Harrington was intelligent and talented, with the curiosity typical of an adolescent, and after her family had emigrated to the human colony on Sphinx she wanted to explore. Of course, it was very frustrating that her father forebade her to go into the forest alone, but then she discovered something right at home. Some local wildlife had been eating the celery in the family garden, and when Stephanie lay in wait for the intruder, she encountered a six-legged cat-like creature. What's more, the creature, known among his own kind as Climbs Quickly, was even more astonished, because he found that he could form a mental link with this strange two-legged young one. That was the first encounter between a human and the beings who would become known as treecats. Stephanie planned to make a second contact with the treecat, but her plans went disastrously awry and she was stranded in a wilderness full of deadly predators. She could not hope to survive without help--but help was on the way, from Climbs Quickly and his tribe . That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. But it was only the beginning . . .