A zookeeper at the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo tells a story about a long time ago when Japan was at war. Bombs were dropped on Tokyo day and night, like falling rain. Some poeple were worried about what might happen if bombs hit the city's zoo. 'If the cages were broken and dangerous animals escaped to run wild through the city, it would be terrible!' Therefore, by command of the army, the animals were to be killed. The zookeeper sadly continues his tale of John, Tonky, and Wanly--three performing elephants at the Ueno Zoo whose turn it was to die--and of their keepers, who wept and who prayed that the war would end so that thier beloved elephants might be saved. Yukio Tsuchiya's story will leave no reader unmoved. Ted Lewin's sensitive watercolors express all of the emotion and pathos of this tragic true tale.