Tormented Wolf, a warrior from Yakari's tribe, has an obsession: to take his revenge on the wolf who attacked and injured him three winters before. This wolf limps - Yakari has crossed the path of Three Legs. He is afraid, but a dream and the intervention of Great Eagle, his totem, encourage him to join the wolves. He will earn the trust of the pack's leader.
When a storm takes them by surprise, Yakari, his best friend Rainbow and his pony Little Thunder take cover in a cave. They discover when they come out of their refuge that the hill they are on is surrounded by rising water. On this new island, they befriend a wounded moose threatened by a merciless predator.
A strange eagle has wounded a brave from Yakari's tribe and stolen his talisman. To recover it and allow the man to wake from his unnatural slumber, young Yakari will have to climb a mountain to find the eagle's nest. Forced to go alone when Little Thunder can't follow anymore, he will have to make new friends-with sure feet and warm coats-and brave the majestic bird's proud anger.
When the beavers bring Yakari a battered old canoe, the young Sioux and his friends repair it and go for a little trip-and find more adventure than they bargained for, in the person of a father coyote. Fortunately, their new friend is up to his reputation for cunning: When Buffalo Seed is cornered by an angry puma, it will take all of the coyote's tricks, combined with Yakari's bravery, to get the young hunter out of his predicament.
Little Thunder is quite an astounding pony, and he and Yakari truly are the best of friends. So when upon waking up one morning, he discovers that his mount has left the village, the young Sioux boy is devastated. He tries to find his friend, but is forced to give up as the trail grows cold: whatever it is that drives Little Thunder, he's heading due south as fast as he can. What is it that calls out to him?
While trying to save a bear cub from drowning, Yakari falls into the river and hits his head on a rock. By the time he washes ashore and is found by a distraught bear mother, he has forgotten who he is. The she-bear is convinced that he is her son, turned into a human by the Bear Spirit, and begins to train him for his new life. Can Yakari's friends find him before he disappears into his new world for good?