The story is set in a village of Colombia. The main characters are Rosa Soto, her two daughters Maria Del Carmen and Evangelina. Other characters are Rosa’s husband Roberto and sister from Bogota.
The story is about reincarnation. Little Carmen was the Soto’s first child. Carmen was beautiful, bright and loving, but with frail health. She died shortly after she turned to her fourth spring. Everyone in the village participated in her funeral. At her birth, a doctor told Rosa that she would not bear other children. She believed him truly. So she gave Carmen’s playthings including clothes to a priest from another village. But she could not find a lost doll that Carmen had always carried around with her. The doll was beautiful with blue eyes and a red dress.
They searched for the doll in the house, and also asked the priest if it was gone with her clothes. But he said that is was not. Even they asked the undertaker. However, they could not find the doll. On the passage of time Rosa got pregnant which helped them forget the beautiful doll. Exactly the year after Carmen’s death, Rosa gave birth to another daughter. She was named Evangelina which meant good news. Unlike her dead sister Carmen, Evangelina was healthy, but in other aspects such as body build, appearance and even in manner she was exactly like Carmen. Evangelina always thought she used to be sick, but it was really her dead sister who was sick.
One day Evangelina said she knew where the doll had been kept. She pointed to the ground under a big tree. Rosa and her sister it with a shovel and found the doll. She asked Evangelina how she knew where the doll had been buried. Evangelina said she kept it there when she had been sick and a kind man helped her to bury it. Then he took her with him.
Why, do you suppose, almost everyone in the village attended Carmen’s funeral?
Carmen was a beautiful, bright and kind girl. Her villagers were fond of her. They were also very much grieved, like her parents, by her untimely death. They attended her funeral to express their love and regards towards her.
Do you think there was any vehicle in the funeral procession?
The road leading to the cemetery at the other side of a hill was so much narrow that even people in the funeral were walking in a single line. No vehicle could move on the narrow hilly road. Moreover, there was no need of any vehicle too. Hence, we can say there was no vehicle in the funeral procession of Maria del Carmen.
Why do you suppose the people marched single file to the cemetery?
The people in Carmen’s funeral procession marched single file to the cemetery because the road was too narrow.
Why, do you think, Rosa gave Carmen’s things to someone from another village, not from her own village?
Rosa thought she was unable to get any other baby after Carmen’s death. She found them useless. She thought of giving them away so that some other poor children may use them. But she was careful enough not to give those things to someone in her own village because in that condition she would certainly see them in use. They would remind her of her daughter’s death. She perhaps wanted to avoid any such painful memories. Therefore, Rosa gave Carmen’s things to someone from another village, not from her own.
Why did Roberto want to save Carmen’s things?
When Carmen was born, doctors had said that Rosa could not deliver any other child now. And that seemed true in the last four years also. Yet, Roberto was hopeful of getting a child after Carmen’s death. As he was poor, it would be difficult for him to buy clothes and playthings for the new baby. He wanted save Carmen’s things for the new child.
Why did Rosa say that there was no reason to save them?
Rosa remembered well what doctors said at Carmen’s death. According to them, she could not become a mother again. And that seemed true as she didn’t get second child in the last four years. She believed that she could not get a baby. As she had no hope of getting a child now, she thought Carmen’s things were useless. Therefore, she said that there was no reason to save them.
Why do you think Roberto thought of Carmen’s doll when he looked out the window to the backyard?
Carmen used to play with her doll under a tree in the backyard of her house. Therefore, when Roberto looked out the window to the backyard, he thought of Carmen’s doll.
What made them finally forget about the lost doll?
The Soto couple might have felt no bound of joy when Rosa became pregnant. Her pregnancy was by no means less than a miracle. They must have been very excited at the prospect of getting another child. This was very delightfully miraculous event that made them finally forget about the lost doll.
Do you think Evangelina was a good name for the new baby?
In Christianity, the meaning of the word, ‘Evangelina’ is good news. The birth of the new baby was good news indeed. Therefore, the name Evangelina suited to the new baby. It was, of course, a good name for her.