• Antonio, age six, lives in the town of Guadalupe with his mother Maria Marez, father Gabriel Marez, and two sisters (Deborah and Theresa).
• His three brothers are fighting the Germans and Japanese during World War II.
• Maria is the daughter of a farmer and encouraged Gabriel to move to Guadalupe for better education and greater opportunities for her children.
• Leaving the llano at Maria's urging was a great sacrifice for Gabriel, a vanquero (cowboy) at heart.
• Maria and Gabriel decide to bring the aging Ultima into their home since she helped Maria when her children were small.
• Ultima arrives at the Marez home and brings her trusted companion and protector, the owl.
• Ultima is a welcome addition to the Marez family because she helps with chores and is a confidante for Antonio.
• Ultima teaches Antonio about the wonders of nature and helps overcome his fears about...
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