Before his discovery of the Pearl of the World, Kino's life is fairly simple. He is a peasant and a fisherman who lives with his wife Juana and his baby, Coyotito. He is content with his life; when his eyes open each morning, he sees his wife whose dark eyes "made little reflected stars." He hears the "splash of morning waves on the beach." Kino closes his eyes and hears the music of life, "the Song of the Family," as he watches his wife make tortillas and then take down the baby.
Juana sang softly an ancient song that had only three notes and yet endless variety of interval....Sometimes it rose to an aching chord that caught the throat saying this is safety, this warmth, this is the the Whole.
In short, although he is poor, Kino is fairly content with his life and his family. That is, until his baby is bitten by a scorpion. Then the world changes because Kino and his wife must go to the "fat lazy doctor" who would not want to bother with an indigent baby with a scorpion bite. When the servant, who is of the same race as Kino, tells the doctor who is calling and why, the doctor impatiently replies,
"Have I nothing better to do than cure insect bites for little Indians? I am a doctor, not a veterinary....Has he any money?"
When Kino shows his few grey pearls, the servant tells him "the doctor has gone out" and closes the door on him; Kino stays in the doorway for a long time, then he strikes the gate fiercely with his hand in his loathing of being poor.