Sam Beaver and his father are out camping in the Canadian woods. Sam finds a couple of Trumpeter Swans, which soon lay eggs and hatch them. Sam keeps visiting them and ends up earning their trust with his careful, observant ways and earning their friendship by protecting them from a fox. They even let him see their children when they hatch.
One of the Trumpeter Swans can't make a single sound, however, and although he is a good listener and very good at anything athletic, Louis can never call to his future wife like the other swans can. When Louis and his family go to Montana, he decides to take off and visit Sam Beaver, so that he can learn how to read and write. Sam Beaver takes him to the school where he learns with the other students in Mrs. Hammerbotham's class. Soon, Louis goes home with chalk and a slate and the ability to write out his thoughts. It still didn't help him communicate with the other swans, but he was able to "talk" to any human he met after that.
Eventually, his family moves back to Canada, and Louis meets a swan named Serena that he fell in love with, but of course she couldn't read his slate and know that he loved her. His parents saw his problem and wanted to help him, so his father flew all the way to Billings, Montana, and crashed into a music store and stole a trumpet for his son.
Louis, of course, wasn't too happy about that. After trying to practice the trumpet, he flew to get help from Sam Beaver again. This time, Sam got Louis a job playing the trumpet at camp, called Camp Kookooskoos. Louis played several songs really well, and became an important member of their camp, especially after saving one boy, therefore earning himself a medal. Louis makes a small sacrifice for his trumpet playing, as well, before he is left alone on the camp's island, waiting for his flight feathers.
As soon as they grew in, he flew to Boston to work on the Swan Boats, playing to everyone who rode on one and becoming very popular. At the end of his Swan Boat career, Louis was hired to play at a nightclub near the Philadelphia Zoo, for even more money. There were other swans there in the zoo, though Louis wasn't really as excited to see them as he was to see Serena drop into the zoo one day.
Louis finally got his dream, and stopped the zoo from clipping Serena's wings with a little more help from Sam Beaver. In the end, Louis can finally give his father more than enough money to pay back the store owner, but his father has to risk his life to return it...
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