David is the small boy who is always asking questions. Simon and Ines take care of him in their new town, Estrella. He is learning the language; he has begun to make friends. He has the big dog Bolivar to watch over him. But he'll be seven soon and he should be at school. And so, with the guidance of the three sisters who own the farm where Simon and Ines work, David is enrolled in the Academy of Dance. It's here, in his new golden dancing slippers, that he learns how to call down the numbers from the sky. But it's here, too, that he will make troubling discoveries about what grown-ups are capable of. In this mesmerizing allegorical tale, Coetzee deftly grapples with the big questions of growing up, of what it means to be a 'parent,' the constant battle between intellect and emotion, and how we choose to live our lives.