A deep friendship springs up between a boy, who had lost his voice and his mother at the same tragic moment, and an ailing albino deer sent from China as a gift to the King of Spain. It is Lalo's task to nurture the sick deer back to health in the mountains of Mexico so that he will be well enough for the sea voyage to Spain. This gentle story of Mexico in 1630 follows young Lalo on his journey back to the Mountain of the Sleeping Lady. The journey and months the deer and the boy spend with Lalo's goats are full both of dangers found in a wild landscape and of charming incidents found in a people brimming with life and faith. As with any friendship there is sorrow as well as joy, and Lalo grows in wisdom and courage as he comes to accept even the uncertainties and difficulties of the trust he has been given. By the award-winning author ofI, Juan de Pareja and My Heart Lies South.
The boy did not go up to the animal at once, but stood a little distance away, adjusting his breathing to that of the deer's. Then, after a little, he made a soft sound, a pleasant sound like that of a little breeze on a mountainside that moves the bushes and grass and flowers. Nacar opened his eyes, and the big pink-lined ears flicked.
With great effort, heaving, sinking back, and then trying again, the deer struggled to its feet and stood trembling. It came slowly toward Lalo, looking as if it must surely fall, and Lalo went slowly toward Nacar.
"And then," Captain Diaz told the Viceroy, "the deer laid its neck across the boy's shoulder and drooped its head against him."
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