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The Colorful World of Latino Folktales

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The Llama's Secret

Palacios, Argentina.  1993.  The Llama's secret: A Peruvian Legend.  Troll Associates.

Summary:  A Peruvian rendition of the Great Flood story, in which a llama warns the people and animals to seek shelter on Huillcacoto to avoid the rising sea, Mamacocha (Verso 1993).
Type:  Pourquoi - because this story tells us why the foxes have black tips on their tales and why the Llamas are special.
Characters: The main character is a man that is hardworking and loves his Llama.  He is very concerned and caring about his animal.  The Llama is the wise one of this story and convinces the man that the end of the world is coming by a flood.
Setting:  The first page of this story sets the time and place, "Long ago, high on a plateau in the Andes Mountains..." (Palacios , p. 1).  The illustrations of the mountains, the Llama, their clothes, and sandles, turquoise bracelet, rock houses, clay pottery, flamingoes, and condors all reflect the Peruvian culture.
Plot: The Llama tells his master that there will be a great flood and he needs to take his family and warn everyone to go to the highest mountain, Huillcacoto until it is over.  All of the animals listen to him except for the fox.  When the water is almost to the tip of the mountain, the foxes finally run up the mountain, but their tails are still in the water.  Darkness sets over the land and when it is over, the foxes have a black stain on the tips of their tales.
Theme: I really did not get a theme out of this story.  Instead, it was just why the foxes had black tips and why the Llama's are so special to the Peruvian people.

Rating: 3 out of 5
This is a great rendition of the Great Flood. The pictures were flat and one-dimensional, but overall okay.  There was too much text on each page and it made it difficult to read easily.  I had to reread the first part of the story twice to make sure I understood the story.

Additional Feature:
The Llama's Secret: A Peruvian Legend (Legends of the World)

Here are some quotes from my students:
"I like the different version of the great flood."
"The pictures were boring."
"The story was too long."
"Why do all the foxes in all the stories not listen?"

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