Chapter 13 Summary
Opal and Winn-Dixie get into a routine of getting up early every day and going to Gertrude’s Pets to watch Otis play his guitar for the animals. Sometimes Sweetie Pie also comes to listen to the music, and she sits with her arms wrapped around Winn-Dixie because she loves him so much. Afterward, Sweetie Pie goes around the store and looks at all the animals to try to pick a pet for herself. But Sweetie Pie can never choose one because all she really wants is a dog like Winn-Dixie. Then Opal sweeps the floor and arranges the shelves for Otis because he is not as organized as she is. In his notebook labeled “One red leather collar, one red leather leash,” Otis writes down the hours Opal has worked. After leaving the pet store, Opal and Winn-Dixie go to visit Miss Franny Block at the library, and Miss Block always tells them a story.
But Opal’s favorite place to be during that summer is the yard of Gloria Dump. Winn-Dixie also loves Gloria’s place, and when he and Opal are near her yard, Winn-Dixie speeds up to get there even quicker. When Opal arrives, Winn-Dixie is already happily eating his spoonful of peanut butter.
On some days, the Dewberry boys follow Opal to Gloria’s house and tease her about going to visit the witch. The Dewberrys’ mother has told them that Opal should play with people her own age instead of older people. The boys also tease Opal about working for Otis and claim that he is retarded and a criminal, but Opal sticks up for both Gloria and Otis. The boys tell Opal that the preacher would be mad at her if he knew what she was up to during the day, but Opal lies and tells them her father already knows. Opal gets tired of yelling at the Dewberry boys, but it makes her feel tough to stand up for her friends.
When Opal arrives at Gloria’s house, Gloria always has a peanut butter sandwich and coffee ready for her. Opal feels relaxed in Gloria’s company. Gloria asks Opal why she does not play with the boys, and Opal says they are ignorant. Gloria suggests that the boys might just be trying to be friendly in their own way, but Opal thinks that they are silly. Gloria sighs and asks Opal if she has any stories to tell; she always does.