Marlin is not slow or mute; he is a stutterer, and that makes it impossible for him to convince people otherwise. He is also a Rackham: the youngest son of the world-famous explorer Roland Rackham, who is the owner and proprietor of the Zoo at the Edge of the World, a resort where the well to do from all over the world can come to experience the last bit of the wild left in the world at the end of the nineteenth century. In order to impress a powerful duke who comes to visit the zoo, Marlin's father ventures into the jungle and brings back a mysterious black jaguar, now the only one in captivity. Everyone is terrified of the jaguar, including Marlin - until one night when the jaguar confers upon him a powerful gift. Soon Marlin finds himself with a difficult choice to make and, finally, something to say. If only he can figure out how to say it.