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Written by Jody Perry
And then I figured that the dog was probably just like everybody else in the world, that he would want to get called by a name, only I didn't know what his name was, so I just said the first thing that came into my head. I said, "Here, Winn-Dixie."
Opal is explaining to the reader how her dog came to have such an unusual name. Since he was a stray and clearly not very well taken care of, his previous owners had not put a collar with a name tag on him so his name was unknown. As Opal was in a Winn Dixie grocery store at the time she said the first name that came into her head and since the dog was calmed by and attracted to her friendly tone of voice, he responded to the name, and it stuck.
I went right back to my room and wrote down all ten things that the teacher had told me. I wrote them down just the way he said them to me so that I wouldn't forget them, and then I read them out loud to Winn-Dixie until I had them memorized. I wanted to know those ten things inside and out. That way, if my mama ever came back, I could recognize her, and I would be able to grab her and hold her tight and not let her get away from me again.
Opal persuades her father to tell her them things about her mother, one thing for every year she had been alive. She cannot remember anything about her so holds on tightly to the fragments of information they she does have, as if this will bring her mother closer again. She doesn't seem to have any anger towards her mother for abandoning them,but notices her absence every day.
But in the meantime, you got to remember, you can't always judge people by the things they done. You got to judge them by what they are doing now.
Gloria has just shown Opal her mistake tree, with its hanging bottles reminding her of the things she has done wrong. Opal can't believe that she has ever done anything bad but Gloria explains that is because she knows her now, in the present. Whatever she hears about a person's past she should judge them on their present,such as judging Otis not on the fact he once spent time in jail, but on his generosity to her and his kindness towards the animals in the pet store.
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