Ossie is the runt of his litter, and so shy that he's never spoken a word! When he's wounded and left orphaned by a snake attack, it looks like the end. But Ossie finds an unexpected friend: Uncle Will, the old gator who is a legend in the swamp. Surprisingly, Will adopts the little rat and takes him all around their world, teaching him the swamp's lore, and introducing him to its colorful residents and its rich stories. But even Will can't do anything about the terrible drought that's drying up the swamp—nor about Bubba, a crabby old stork who decides Ossie is the perfect scapegoat for their troubles. In the end, Ossie has to do what his father always told him he'd have to do: find his own way.