Ama was born the daughter of a herdsman. When she was nine years old, a holy woman took refuge in a valley cave near her village. The woman said that she had taken a vow to never speak to men, and Ama was the only one whose visits were accepted by the woman. Ama regularly paid her visits, bringing food and gifts for several days.
During one such visit, her father accompanied her and waited outside while Ama delivered food to the woman. With the help of her dæmon Kulang, Ama asked for clarification about a rumor that the woman had a dangerous companion with her. The woman put Ama's mind at ease by explaining that her companion was merely her daughter who had been put under a sleeping spell. The woman invited Ama into the cave and showed her daughter's sleeping form, then asked that she tell no one aside from her father about the situation because the enchanter who cast the spell might try to seek them out and destroy them. Ama agreed and returned to the village with her father.
Over the next few days, Ama visited the woman often to run errands and listen to her stories. During her time at home, she thought about the woman's daughter constantly and imagined why the spell had been cast.
One day, Ama took a three-hour journey to visit the monastery in Cho-Lung-Se. She gained an audience with the great healer Pagdzin tulku by bribing the porter with some honey-bread. She asked for the healer's help in curing a male relative with a sleeping sickness, and she felt clever about changing the gender of the sufferer to make sure she didn't give anything away about the holy woman. After lying further about the circumstances, Ama asked for a medicine to take back to her village. The healer mixed together a powder and when he handed it over, the healer admonished Ama for being untruthful with him.
The next evening, Ama hurried to the cave with the holy woman and her daughter. She was excited to deliver the medicine to the woman so she could wake her daughter, and Ama hoped they could be friends. When she arrived at the cave, it was empty aside from the sleeping girl and Ama entertained the idea of waking the girl herself and surprising the holy woman. Before she could entertain the idea further, Ama heard someone outside and she hid behind a rock out of guilt. She initially felt wrong for spying, but she witnessed a terrible scene. The young girl was waking up and the mother had brewed a sleeping potion. The young girl fought the mother and tried to stay awake, the girl's dæmon battling the mother's dæmon, but the mother slapped her daughter and forced the potion down her throat. Soon, the young girl was asleep again and the woman trimmed her hair and let her dæmon rip apart a bat. It was all very strange to Ama, and as soon as the woman fell asleep, Ama crept out of the cave and ran away. Once back at her village, she consulted with her own dæmon about what to do about the deceitful woman, and they agreed to go back when the woman wasn't there and use the medicine to wake the girl.