Why didn't Sylvia tell the stranger where the white heron's nest was?  

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kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Sylvia is at first afraid of the stranger, but as she walks with him through the forest she finds her “woman’s heart” responding to the exciting stranger.

She does intend to tell him where the heron’s nest is, stealing out especially to climb the great pine tree from which she believes she will see the nest. However, the experience of climbing the tree reminds her that she is ‘at one’ with nature; that she is as much part of the forest as the trees, animals, and the enigmatic white heron. She has been shocked to see the hunter shoot the birds he wants to “collect” and is dismayed by this cruelty, though her childish heart is quickly won over with  the gift of the knife. .Despite the offer of money, Sylvia chooses not to reveal the heron’s whereabouts. She is content to preserve its – and her- freedom.