Seven-year-old Ixkem is chosen by her grandfather amongst all the villagers to inherit the responsibility for tending his special cornfield. Ixkem goes to the field and begins to shout and stomp to frighten away the animals who would like to share the harvest. Suddenly a mass of tiny creatures appear -- the b'e'n -- secret animal spirits of which there is one for every human on earth. They take Ixkem into the underworld, where she tells them the amazing stories that her grandfather has told her. In exchange the b'e'n whisper a secret for her to take to her grandfather. Once he hears the secret, he is ready to go to his final sleep in peace, knowing that the b'e'n and Ixkem have exchanged their knowledge and his legacy is secure.