Exposition: Maine, late 19th century
Main Characters: Sylvia, 9 year old girl living in country with grandmother; Grandmother (Mrs. Tilley); Hunter (also identifites himself as an ornithologist
Conflict: Man vs. Self; Sylvia must decide if $10.00 is enough money for her to give away the location of the rare White Heron to the hunter.
Rising Action: Sylvia is enjoying one of her walks in the woods, enjoying the nature around her. She used to live in the city with her parents, but much prefers the country. She comes across a young man with a gun who has been hunting birds and is lost. She leads the man to the farmhouse and Mrs. Tilley invites him to stay the night. In conversation, the young man learns that Sylvia has explored all of the woods. The hunter offers Sylvia ten dollars to show him the where the heron is. They go out together the next day, and Sylvia comes to like the hunter, but is still not sure if she should tell where there heron is.
Climax: Sylvia goes out early to see the heron's nest. While there, she watches the sunrise, and in the beauty of the morning, knows that she can not betray nature for the money or the man.
Falling Action: The hunter leaves the farm, disappointed.
Resolution: The narrator asks nature directly to bless ‘‘this lonely country child.’’