On his birthday, Omri is somewhat disappointed to receive nothing but a small plastic Indian from his friend Patrick, but he is pleased when his brother Gillon gives him a white metal cupboard. Omri discovers that a key, once belonging to his great-grandmother, fits the lock on the cupboard perfectly. He puts the plastic Indian in the cupboard for the night and locks the door. In the morning Omri is shocked to discover that the cupboard has somehow brought the Indian to life. Keeping it a secret, Omri helps the Indian adjust to his new home in Omri's bedroom, providing him with food and shelter; but Omri learns that the Indian is more than a novelty. He is a real person, an Iroquois brave.
He has a name - Little Bear - and he lived in the past over 200 years ago. What began as fun turns out to have very serious repercussions when Omri lets his friend Patrick in on the secret.