This is a mystical novel of transformation. Tepary, named after a hardy kind of bean, lives with his parents in the four corners area of New Mexico. His mother is researching packrat droppings. His father is planting and keeping alive old varieties of corn, beans and squash. When one of the ancient cliff dwellings is savaged by pot-stealers, Tepary comes upon an ancient flute during an eclipse of the moon and blows upon it. From that moment, he is transformed each night into a pack rat. At about the same time a very wise Indian arrives and we soon begin to suspect that he is Kokopelli, the ancient flute player. We also learn that he is the person who has been anonymously supplying Tepary's father with obscure and ancient seeds. Then Tep's mother falls ill with the hantavirus and he needs both human and rat form to help her.
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