One night in the Kenyan grasslands, Jackie Leeds and her family’s native friend and servant, Tembo Murumbi, chase a young galago about its preferred habitat, a baobab tree. Tembo catches the small animal and offers it to Jackie as a gift; she names the small bushbaby ‘Komba’. A year or so passes since this first encounter, and one day at church, Komba’s playfulness causes commotion, disrupting the daily hymn. Feeling defeated, the pastor yields the podium to Professor Crankshaw, who takes the opportunity to bid farewell to a number of church members. Jackie notices that Crankshaw, ‘Cranky’ as she calls him, looks firmly into her father’s eyes as he speaks, and she becomes alarmed. After church, Jackie’s suspicions are confirmed when her father explains that, due to the new powers in Kenya’s government, his employment as a game warden is likely to be terminated. They’ll leave for London where he’ll fill an opening at the zoo. Jackie is upset at the news, specially when she learns that Komba will have to be left behind. For Jackie, leaving Africa means leaving the home she’s known all of her life: her school, her friends, and the grave of her mother, Penelope Leeds, who had been killed in the uprising of 1961.