After the dead man’s body reaches the shore, the kids who were playing thought he is a whale and even appear as some kind of sea monster. When it washes up on shore, they realize it is a drowned man and the kids played with it. An adult then spots the new toy and spreads word to the rest of the village.
The men of the town carry the body to the nearest house and note how heavy it is. They suspect that maybe, since it floated around for so long, water got into his bones. When the drowned man is finally cleaned off, the women are left breathless: "not only he is the tallest, strongest, most virile, and best built man they have ever seen, but even though they were looking at him there was no room for him in their imagination". Since he posses the qualities that anyone couldn't imagine they named him Esteban and become an inspiration for the villagers.
When they finally let the body go off the cliff, they do not anchor it, so that he can come back if he wishes.Then the villagers realize that from now on, everything will be different.They will make their houses bigger and stronger and better, and dig for springs in their courtyards, and paint their houses bright colors "to make Esteban's memory eternal", and plant flowers on their cliffs so that years from now, sailors going by will see the colors and smell the scents and know that there, on those cliffs, is Esteban's village.