The sun was just starting to rise above the distant mountain when Tommy heard movement in the leaves from behind the tree stand. "There's something walking on the hillside, Dad," whispered Tommy. "I think it's a deer." For young Tommy, going deer hunting with his dad and uncles was an eagerly anticipated adventure. He'd dreamed of it the night before the opening day of deer season, and now, he was ready to go hunting for the very first time. His uncles knew of a giant buck out on Pumpkin Ridge-so large that they called it the "King of Pumpkin Ridge." As Tommy dresses for a day in the woods, he hopes he will have a chance to shoot the King. After he and his dad settle into their tree stand, Tommy sits back in the early-morning darkness ... and waits. Deer hunting, his dad tells him, is about patience. As the sun rises and the day grows warmer, Tommy hears several shots ring out in the woods. Maybe his uncles, in their tree stands in another part of the woods, are having better luck than he is. "You need to be patient, Tommy," his dad reminds him. "Now stay alert." Tommy tunes in to the sounds of the forest-turkeys calling, birds singing ... and then, the crunching of acorns below him. Only a few yards away, a deer is feeding. Better still, Tommy then hears a much larger deer running along the ridge and knows it must be the King. The King of Pumpkin Ridge, Tim Zerbe's tale of father-and-son camaraderie, offers rich and evocative images in a story that is much more than a simple deer-hunting adventure. Tommy's discovery, which Zerbe presents in a manner not at all heavy-handed, is as universal as it is heartwarming.