A powerful story from the Zapotec Indians of Oaxaco, Mexico, about a stranger whose unusual bond with nature stirs the suspicions of the village where she suddenly appears. The beautiful Lucia has ""thousands of dancing butterflies and brightly-colored flowers on her skirts""; when she bathes in the river, its fish mingle with her magnificent hair until she combs them out again. When the younger people, afraid, drive her away, the river goes with her, leaving a desert until the people--prompted by the elders--beg Lucia's forgiveness. Cruz was a young poet who ""gave up his life in his struggle to help win back the water rights of the Zapotec people."" In this bilingual edition, his version of the story is retold in dignified, well cadenced prose. Olivera's paintings depict Lucia as heroic in stature, a noble earth mother; his compositions are strong, his colors rich and bright, beautifully evoking the stern Mexican landscape. He also includes many appealing, decorative touches, especially the creatures that escape the paintings to adorn the facing pages of text. An excellent addition to any folklore collection; one of the handsomest yet of this publisher's fine multicultural books.