||Palmer LaRue will soon turn 10, a date he has been dreading for his whole life. Palmer is supposed to become a wringer, which is an honored part of the town's Pigeon Day. As thousands of pigeons are released in the town park, ten to 20 at a time, local men compete to see who can shoot down the most birds. Wringers are the town's 10-year-old boys who destroy the pigeons that have been wounded, by wringing their necks. Palmer wants no part in killing the birds, but doesn't know how to refuse participation in this town tradition, one that his friends all eagerly anticipate. Then Palmer meets Nipper, a pigeon that seems to seek Palmer out. In a town where pigeons are hated, Palmer puts his own reputation at stake by protecting his secret pet, an act which eventually helps him find the courage to defy the violence of Pigeon Day.