Tzunún is a young, Mayan girl who is kidnapped by a sly, lying conman, Uncle, hoping to sell her and make some easy money. When Uncle finds himself unable to sell Tzunún, because she is too old, he seeks the advice of a fortune teller to see what to do with her. The fortune teller tells him that the girl will find him a great treasure. At this point Tzunún’s life has be altered forever, she has been raised to be honest and always tell the truth. Her kidnapper renames her Rosa, and tells her to never say her real name again and insists she call him Uncle.
Because Tzunún was taken from her family by Uncle when she was only four years old, her life experiences have been limited to only the four years of her childhood. Only four years of being cared for properly, taught how to survive in the world, Uncle doesn’t care for her the same as a parent, someone who cared and loved her. She needs to stay with him both out of fear and the need to survive. They travel together through the towns of Guatemala, hunting for the treasure Uncle believes she will find for him eventually. Uncle is a slack, greedy man who would rather beg for money than work, so he acts like he is handicapped and preys on the goodness of others. He insists that Tzunún help him beg, since an uncle caring for a young niece tugs at the people’s hearts more than a man alone. When Tzunún is told that she is to beg with Uncle, she is torn between doing what’s right and surviving. She tries to say OK, but her body and mind want to say no. She remembers her mother telling her to always be honest and tell the truth. She struggles between her need to survive and her need to be honest and truthful as her mother taught her. When she tries to speak up, “There is a demon in my throat that won’t let me talk.” She finds that there was a ‘demon’ in her throat that keeps her from speaking the truth around Uncle. She has the intention to always do good, but she can’t speak up,... [continues]
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