I first purchased this book twenty years ago when I was looking for books to read to my daughter. Not surprisingly, the task of finding well written, good hearted stories featuring non-helpless females--much less actual female heroes--was daunting. This book works beautifully: a simple, timeless story of friendship, courage and determination, it features both a young, brave and loyal girl (who rescues her male friend) and the wisdom of an older female sage. Great messages about integrity, fidelity and the power within us all. The illustrations are terrific, as well.