An old woman, supposedly deaf, refuses to leave her hut in the village when soldiers come to evacuate the other villagers. One girl comes back for her dog, which is eating food with the old woman. A young soldier tries to pantomime for the old woman to leave, but fails, and is mocked by the crowd. He shoots the girl by accident.
The old woman reveals herself to be Selma, the storyteller of the North and South, with mystical powers. She declares they will make time before the evacuation, calms the soldiers and takes the girl to her hut to heal. The now contrite village follows and begs for her to tell stories.