The epigraph is a conversation between Miro and Ouanda in which they speculate on how piggies have sex (they don't have penises) and talk about how the males seem to get pleasure from rubbing their belly bumps.
Back in plot land, we're in the piggie clearing with Miro and Ouanda. Human, the piggie, tells them that the Speaker for the Dead wants to come to them and that they need him to do that or they can't get in touch with the Hive Queen.
Human says Rooter, the tree, told him all this, and Miro is irritated because he doesn't think trees can talk. What do you think, detective reader?
Miro wants to bring the Speaker for the Dead to the piggies; Ouanda doesn't, though, and they've been arguing about it.
Ouanda tells the piggies she won't bring the Speaker; Miro says nothing because he thinks they should bring him but doesn't want to contradict Ouanda.
Human figures out the dynamic, tells them they suck, and then he has some sort of confrontation with Leaf-eater.
Ouanda and Miro argue, and Miro says she may have cost Human his life.
Though then they agree they don't know why the piggies murder anyone, so blaming themselves is silly.
But then they decide to bring Ender to the piggies in hopes of saving Human anyway, which doesn't really make much sense.
Ender meets Ela by the river bank. There is some melodrama, and Ender tells Ela's story because he's the Speaker like that.
Ela is Novinha's apprentice xenobiologist, but her mother has shut her out of the xenobiology files. Meanwhile, Ela has done all the work at home of holding the family together.
Novinha won't let Ela take the test to become a full xenobiologist because she doesn't want Ela to have access to those files, which she thinks led to Pipo's death.
Ela tells Ender that her mom won't allow research on the Descolada, or theoretical research, and that she won't talk to the zenadors.
She also says that Novinha hated Libo and wouldn't set a place for Miro at the table when he apprenticed to him; she only relented when Libo died.
Ela thinks this means Novinha hated Libo, but we know better… which makes us like Ender, because he knows everything.
Ela tells Ender about some of the research she's done despite her mother. The short version is that reproduction on Lusitania doesn't make any sense.
Cabras (a kind of herd animal) seem to have children without males; water snakes are born, mate, and reproduce on land, so there's no reason they should be adapted for living in the water; and there aren't enough animals filling the various ecological niches, which suggests some sort of major disaster in the past must have destroyed a whole bunch of animals.
They think the Descolada is probably the disaster.
Ender feels like he's figured everything out now, and he's ready to speak Marcao's death, except he still needs to talk to the piggies.
Ela wants him to speak Marcao, which will mean speaking her mother; Ender says she may be sorry.
Ela says he can't speak to the piggies, but he says he can. Then Miro runs up looking for Ender to take him to speak to the piggies (though he doesn't tell Ela that).
Ela has a vision of the Speaker killed and tortured by the piggies. This is a foreshadowing that never happens, like a false clue in an Agatha Christie mystery. It's just meant to build suspense and throw you off. Luckily Shmoop is here for you—Orson Scott Card will not trick us.