Billy is eight years old. He has had many hardships in his life. His mama died giving him life; his dad had a hard time coping and started drinking. Out of desperation his dad marries Rose, hoping to have a mother for his son. Rose is very abusive to Billy and fights constantly with his dad. During a camping trip that was planned to bring the family together, the fighting becomes intense. Billy packs up his tent in the middle of the night and runs away, hiking through the hills of Tennessee. Billy is not missed until the next morning. He has many adventures before being reunited with his dad.