How would you cope as a 10 year old boy who is a Japanese POW with only a monkey for company?
Lawrence is10 when the Japanese overrun Singapore and his family is sent to Banka Island. For months they march, and many die, including their last guard.
Now it's Lawrence's job, as the oldest boy, to learn to fish and help feed the group. Poor at forming relationships following the loss of his mother and baby brother, he becomes inseparable from a captured pet monkey.
He becomes increasingly convinced that there are other POW camps nearby, and one night he and little Vic creep out to try and find them. Horrified at what he finds, he trains the monkey to deliver fruit to starving prisoners. He is aware that if they are caught he will have betrayed the women who have virtually brought him up.
One night they are spotted, but later the heavy footsteps through the jungle are from a British soldier telling the women the war is over. Investigations find Lawrence's mother and brother alive further down the coast.
Vic is relased into the wild, and plans are made for a family reunion.