Successful New York businessman Rutherford "Runt" Hobbes ponders his past life; orphaned and crippled at birth he slogged through the essence of survival in rural Minnesota. Surrounded by a colloquial bunch of characters, embodied in Buck the curmudgeon bar-fly, happy-go-lucky Uncle Mike, and a role model for life in Aunt Dorothy, Runt learns to grapple with the mysteries and realities of life. With the drums of the Vietnam War sounding constantly in the background, the realities of life in rural Minnesota can change quickly from frozen lakes to rice paddies, and the rush of water down a pristine stream can meld into the rush of traffic on a busy New York street. Water and dirt are the basic elements of life, yet either their absence or over-abundance changes lives.

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