Because of Winn-Dixie (2005) Movie Script

In the beginning, when we moved
to Naomi, it was just the preacher and me.
Only sometimes- most of the time, really-
it seemed like it was me alone.
And then one morning
the preacher sent me to the store
for a box of macaroni and cheese,
some white rice and two tomatoes.
And after that, everything changed.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
It's a good story. Let me tell it right.
I appreciate you coming, I really do.
Thank you very much. Have a seat in there.
- Oh, is that for me, I hope?
- Yes, it sure is.
I feel blessed to be brought here to Naomi,
to do God's work in his new church.
I'll admit, I'm still getting used to the idea
of his house being in a convenience store.
Nothing wrong with making church
more convenient.
I have preached in some
pretty strange places in my time...
Not that this is a strange place.
I didn't mean that.
Come on in. Sit down.
Glad you finally made it.
This is my daughter, India Opal.
Forgive us, we're new here.
Still trying to find our way around.
Maybe one of you two boys
could teach Opal a better short cut to church.
Let us pray.
Our Father, who art in heaven...
It's me, God. If it's not too much trouble,
I'd like some friends.
I don't know that many kids,
only the ones from church.
And there aren't that many here.
There's Amanda Wilkinson,
whose face is always pinched up
like she's smelling something real bad.
And Sweetie Pie Thomas,
who's only five years old,
still mostly a baby,
and is always sucking on her knuckle.
There's Dunlap and Stevie Dewberry. I know
they can't help it that they're bald, God.
Their mama shaved their heads on account
of Dunlap got fleas in his hair from their cat.
But even the bald Dewberry boys
don't want to be my friend anyway.
One more thing, God. I miss my mama.
Please, God, I'd really like
to see my mama again.
- Amen.
- Amen.
Opal? Come on. No TV
until you put some of that stuff away.
I bet they already have a new pitcher.
We're not moving back to Watley.
I know it's hard moving all the time,
but that's part of my job.
Up and at 'em, Daddy! I made orange juice.
Daddy! I made orange juice.
There he goes! That way!
- Get over here!
- I'll get him. Coming through!
Boyd? Boyd Lee.
Could you please
approach the produce section.
What in the Sam Hill is going on?
Please report to the produce section, Boyd.
I'm in the produce section.
- What? What is it?
- It's a dog, Boyd.
We can't have no dogs in the Winn-Dixie.
Well, don't let him get by the eggs!
Look! There he goes! Stop him!
Hey! He's going around. Go get him!
Tracy, go round that... Get the dog!
Cut him off.
Will somebody grab that dog, please!
Somebody grab that dog!
Somebody grab that dog! Oof.
Get him off of me. I don't like dogs.
Somebody get him off of me.
It's OK, sir. All that dog wants to do
is get face to face with you
and thank you for the good time he's having.
Call the pound. Mike, go call the pound.
Wait! Don't call the pound. That's my dog!
And then I knew I had done something big.
Maybe stupid too.
But I couldn't help it. I couldn't let them
take that dog to the pound.
Here, boy.
Come on, boy.
Here, Winn-Dixie.
Who names their dog Winn-Dixie?
Me. It's his name, honest.
Don't you know better
than to bring a dog in a grocery store?
Sorry, sir. It won't happen again. I promise.
Come on, Winn-Dixie.
Well, what are all y'all looking at?
That dog almost ate my face off.
Stay here. I'll be right back.
Sometimes the preacher looked
just like a turtle hiding inside its shell,
in there thinking about things and
not ever sticking his head out into the world.
Yes? What is it? What is it, Opal?
I found a dog and I want to keep him.
A dog? Now, we have been through this
before. You do not need a dog.
I know it. I know I don't need a dog.
But this dog needs me.
- He doesn't neither need you.
- Does too.
- For goodness' sake.
- He does. Winn-Dixie!
- Here, boy!
- The last thing in the world we need is...
- This isn't a dog, it's a horse.
- And he's homeless too.
- He's got a stink to him too.
- I know it.
Well, he needs all the help he can get, right?
- I could be doing my duty.
- Yeah, well...
Look. He's smiling at you.
Don't you love a dog with a sense of humor?
Would you run and get the tweezers?
I think he's got something stuck in his paw.
He's a nice dog, isn't he?
He's a great dog, isn't he?
- You can't keep this dog, Opal.
- Please, Daddy!
Look at him. He's skinny.
He needs to be fed, bathed too.
- No. No. No!
- Please!
No! I said no.
- He can stay while you find him a home...
- He can stay?
- Temporarily.
- Yes!
You're not keeping him, Opal.
This is temporary
so don't go getting your hopes up.
We're not getting our hopes up,
are we, Winn-Dixie?
Good. Why don't you make some signs
so folks'll know you found a dog
who needs a home?
- Come on, Winn-Dixie.
- And a bath, and a shower.
Hey, come back here, Winn-Dixie.
Little miss, you think
you're using up enough water?
- Uh... We still gotta rinse.
- Where'd you get that hose?
I didn't think you'd mind if I borrowed it.
Well, I do mind.
I'm sorry, Mr. Alfred. I'm sorry.
Come back here, you stupid dog, you.
If I catch you, so help me, you... Oh!
I made an exception for the kid,
but there is no exception for that mongrel.
You see that sign on the front of my trailer?
Does anybody read my signs?
We're not keeping him.
We're finding him a home.
Well, hurry it up or I'm calling the pound.
- Daddy?
- Dry that dog off, Opal.
And dry yourself off too.
You know, Winn-Dixie, if my mama
were around, I bet she'd let me keep you.
Since we moved here
I've thought about my mama extra hard.
- Opal? I hope that dog's not in your bed.
- Yes, sir.
I mean... no, sir, he's not.
I really don't know where she is.
She left when I was only three years old.
I can't hardly remember her.
Make sure you got your window shut.
Don't want that rain getting in.
The preacher? It's no use.
He won't talk to me at all about her.
I bet you don't remember
your mama much either.
So we're really alike, you and me.
Think I should make
the preacher tell me about her?
- I'll think about it.
- You're supposed to be in bed.
Daddy, will you tell me about Mama?
I know you don't like to talk about her.
But I don't even remember
what she looked like.
What did she look like?
I don't need to know a lot. Just a few things.
She'd tell you not to stay up so late.
Opal? Ready to head out
and put up those signs?
Yes, sir. Hold on.
Leave him here.
Stay here. Stay.
What the?
God... bless it.
Opal, would you bring
that dog inside, please?
Come on, Winn-Dixie.
That night I wrote in my journal
that what the preacher couldn't see
is that Winn-Dixie wasn't lost,
and I didn't find him, he found me.
He was a dog who knew how to be a friend.
Hey, boy. Where are we going?
You like that? I bet with a collar like that
you'd feel like you belonged to somebody.
Well, maybe we can afford it.
- Hello?
- Hello?
- Hello?
- Hello.
I'm sorry. Do you work here?
Yeah, but we're closed.
Oi. Hey.
Don't mind him.
That's just how he says hello.
- That's Winn-Dixie and I'm Opal.
- I'm Otis.
Well, Otis, my dog sure likes this red collar,
but I don't get a big enough allowance
to afford it.
Look, I'm just here
to take care of the animals.
Otis. Shut up!
I was thinking maybe we could
set up an installment plan.
- I don't think I can do that.
- Well, I can work for you.
I could sweep the floors and straighten up
the shelves and take out the trash.
- I could do that.
- Well, that's what I do.
Oh. Well, you sure need some help.
I'm real trustworthy.
The only thing is, Winn-Dixie, my dog,
he'd have to come with me while I work.
- He doesn't like to be left alone.
- Well, Gertrude doesn't like dogs.
She owns a pet shop
and she don't like dogs?
Yeah. No, I mean that Gertrude, the parrot.
It's named after the owner.
It doesn't like dogs.
She might like Winn-Dixie.
Almost everybody does.
If the two of them get along,
then could I have the job?
- I don't know.
- Dog. Dog. Dog!
- I know it's a dog.
- Gertrude's a pretty bird.
Hello, dog.
See? She likes him.
That's pretty amazing, don't you think?
I'll be damned.
We're all set then. Thanks.
No, wait, miss. I cant just give you a job...
Thank you! You won't be sorry.
I'm a real hard worker.
That's nice. Thank you for listening.
Have a nice day, ma'am.
A ten-year-old makes me look like an idiot.
Shut up. Idiot.
Need some help?
Get rid of that dog.
Oh, Lord.
- What did he... what did he do now?
- Nothing.
He don't have to do nothing.
I make the rules here and it's "no pets".
Opal's been very responsible with the dog.
She's still looking for a home.
Get me a photo, I'll post it on eBay.
I'll get you competing bids within an hour.
I don't think that's necessary.
You stay here rent-free because I can write it
off as a charitable donation to the church.
But my charity stops with that animal.
You know how much we appreciate
the accommodation here, sir.
Call the pound.
Mr. Alfred, please. I'm sure we can work
something out. Give us a little more time.
You want a home or a dog?
Call the pound.
Well, I just figured you got
such a nice big place over there.
And I'm sure he'd be fine
with your other dogs.
Don't let him see you.
He's very playful. He's great with kids.
Opal thinks the world of him.
Yeah, mm-hm.
Well, listen, if you think of somebody,
you be sure to give me a call. All right?
- Come back here, Winn-Dixie.
- I hope to see you in church on Sunday.
All right. Bye, now.
Winn-Dixie! Winn-Dixie, no!
- Opal. Opal. Come on. I know, I know.
- No!
- I need you to sign this release form.
- It's not right, Daddy! You know it isn't!
- Stop that right now.
- Please! He's the only friend I have!
Don't take him away. Please!
Wait. Don't take him.
- What, this isn't the dog?
- There's been a mistake.
That isn't the dog.
Come on, get him inside. Let's go.
The preacher took a loan out from the church
and paid off our rent.
But he had to promise Mr. Alfred he would find
Winn-Dixie a home before the end of summer.
I would've promised anybody anything.
I was just so happy
to have Winn-Dixie with me.
And I was happy
to have a job at Gertrude's Pets.
This is our town. See?
Kinda lonely, isn't it?
Hey, Winn-Dixie!
Wait! Wait for me, boy.
Hey, Winn-Dixie.
Winn-Dixie, come back here.
That's the library.
You can't go in there.
It says so on the sign.
Wow. Look at all those books.
Oh, my goodness.
Are you all right?
- It's a bear.
- A bear?
- He's come back.
- He has?
- Yes.
- Where is he?
- He's right out there.
- That's no bear.
That's just a dog. It's my dog- Winn-Dixie.
A dog? Oh.
It's your dog? You sure?
Yes, ma'am, I'm positive.
I'd know him anywhere.
Let me help you up. Come on.
It's OK.
- Who are you?
- I'm India Opal, but you can just call me Opal.
I'm Miss Franny. You must think I'm
a silly old thing, mistaking a dog for a bear.
Are you sure that is a dog?
Yes, ma'am. I'm sure.
He just don't like to be left alone, is all.
Sorry to bother you, Miss Franny.
Well, I had a bad experience with a bear
coming into Herman W. Block
Memorial Library.
- I've never quite gotten over it.
- A bear came into the library?
Oh, yes. It's quite a story.
I sure would like to hear it.
But Winn-Dixie gets lonely without me.
Maybe we could make an exception.
Now, one hot Thursday, way back then,
I was sitting here in the library, and
all the doors and windows were wide open.
And I had my nose in a book,
until I noticed a very peculiar smell.
A very strong smell.
And I raised my eyes up slowly,
and standing right in front of me was a bear,
a very large bear.
How large was it?
At least four times the size of your dog.
That big? Wow.
Then what happened?
I very slowly and very carefully
raised up the book I was reading.
- What book was that?
- War and Peace.
And I carefully aimed it
and I threw it right at him.
Good dog. Thank you.
- And do you know what?
- No, ma'am. What?
This is what I will never forget.
- He took the book with him.
- Nuh-uh.
Yes, ma'am, he snatched it up and ran off.
Did he ever come back?
No. I never saw him again.
Well, the men in town,
they used to tease me about it.
They used to say, "Miss Franny, we saw
that bear of yours out in the woods today."
"He was reading War and Peace
and said it sure was good
and he'd like to check it out again."
I imagine I'm the only one
who even recalls that bear.
You don't have a husband or children?
I never married.
Why not?
I didn't have the need.
But you don't have anyone.
I have these books.
Now, look at that.
That dog is smiling at me.
Would you like to be friends,
you and me and Winn-Dixie.
Would you want to be friends?
Why, that would be fine.
That would be grand, just grand.
Winn-Dixie was better at making friends
than anyone I had ever known.
I talked to him about everything
and he was a real good listener.
Just about everything good
that happened that summer
happened because of Winn-Dixie.
Dog. Dog!
Otis, the animals!
Help me here!
Stop it, Winn-Dixie.
Help me get 'em back in the cages.
I'll get the rabbits.
Come here, sweetie. Come here.
- Play some more music.
- What?
What I said was, play some more music, Otis.
Far out. Do it again.
Well, it seems to be working.
I'm gonna go tell my mom about what I seen.
That man's magic.
He's a magic man.
Bye, magic man. Bye, Opal.
Are you really a magic man?
I was just playing for the animals.
They seem to... They seem to like it.
Yes, sir. Did they escape from their cages?
No, I left the cages open.
You just let 'em roam around?
I don't know. It's no good being locked up.
- Locked up.
- Shut up.
Shut up. Idiot.
Shouldn't you be sweeping up?
- Why don't you sweep up?
- With your guitar?
Just sweep up the place and...
clean up a little bit of this mess.
He doesn't want to be left alone, is all.
- Can't we bring him?
- Can't bring a dog to church, Opal.
Come on, we're gonna be late.
It's a big day for me.
He's scared we'll leave him for good
and never come back.
- That mutt ain't got a home yet?
- No, not yet, but we're working on it.
I had a dog like that once myself.
A real howler. I got him to shut up.
- You did? How?
- I shot him.
Well, you can't shoot a churchgoing dog.
It'd be a sin.
All right. That's enough. Please, stop.
Everyone just stop, please.
Thank you. Opal?
He doesn't know the words, is all.
But he sure is moved by the spirit.
- Get that dog now.
- Yes, sir.
Are dogs allowed in church?
Sit. Sit.
We recently celebrated the hundredth
anniversary of man learning to fly.
Now, that's the sort of miracle
that we tend to take for granted nowadays.
But for hundreds of years, man was taking
that same kind of leap of faith
and falling right on his butt.
Yeah, folks, they were tying themselves
to kites and home-made wings
and hurling themselves off of barns
and crashing off of cliffs.
So how did the Wright brothers do it,
when everybody else
was nose-diving for centuries?
- They saw the unique value...
- Don't even think about it.
Did you know that part of their wing design
was the same design as a railroad bridge?
Yeah. Isn't that a genius leap,
using a bridge to fly?
Keep on preaching. I got him!
More importantly, they had each other.
Working as brothers...
Working together we can lift this town up...
By all just taking a leap of faith,
we can learn to fly.
Opal, stop that dog!
Never in my life...
A dog catching a mouse.
Let us pray...
for this mouse.
That sure was something. I bet Mama
would've gotten a big kick out of it.
Opal, the dog cannot go back to church.
Everybody was talking. They said they hadn't
had that much fun in church in a long while.
Doesn't that look better?
Now where are you taking me, Winn-Dixie?
- That dog looks like a dirty carpet.
- Yeah.
I can hear you.
I can hear you guys behind me.
Watch out. That dog's
headed for the witch's house.
Winn-Dixie, come back here!
You'd better go
get your dog out of there.
Get lost, you baldheaded babies.
Hey, that witch is gonna eat that dog
for dinner and you for dessert.
I wouldn't go in, bologna-breath.
Bologna-breath? You're just
a couple of skinny-armed chickens.
We'll tell the preacher what happened to you.
Winn-Dixie, where are you?
Give it here.
Let go. Let it go.
Give it! Give it to me.
- Let it go, I said.
- Stop it!
Who's there?
Please. Don't eat me.
Don't eat me! I don't taste good,
I don't taste good! Please! Help!
Eat you? You silly child.
How could I eat you?
Where's my dog? Did you eat my dog?
Hardly. But he darn near bit my hand off
stealing my sandwich.
Where is he? Where's the dog?
Where's the dog?
Where's the dog? Oh, I hear him. I hear him.
He's smacking his lips.
He sure loves peanut butter.
Listen at him.
I'm sorry he got on your property.
My name's Opal.
My name is Gloria.
Gloria Dump.
Ain't that a terrible last name- Dump?
My last name's Buloni. Sometimes
the kids at school, they call me Lunchmeat.
Lunchmeat. Oh, my.
Well, I'm pleased to meet you, Lunchmeat.
- What do you call your friend here?
- That's Winn-Dixie.
Winn-Dixie? You mean like the grocery store?
Now, that takes the strange-name prize,
don't it? Whoo-wee!
Oh, no.
This one's mine. I'm gonna eat this one.
You know, baby girl...
these eyes of mine,
they don't see too good no more.
- You can't see?
- Well, no, I can...
I can see only the general shape of things.
So I rely on my heart.
Why don't you tell me everything about
yourself, so I can see you with my heart?
Well, the first thing you should know
is my dad's the preacher,
which is why we moved to Naomi.
I had been waiting for so long to tell a person
everything about me, I couldn't stop.
I told Gloria Dump everything.
And the whole time I was talking,
Gloria Dump was listening.
I see. I see.
But the most important thing
you should know about me
- is that I don't have a mama.
- You don't have a mama?
Something happened to her that made her
go away, and I don't know what it was.
I could feel her listening with all her heart,
and it felt good.
Quiet, boy.
Quiet. You'll wake the preacher.
Oh, Winn-Dixie.
Winn-Dixie, come back here.
- What's going on with that dog?
- I don't know!
Come on, Winn-Dixie.
Come on, come on. Argh!
I'm sorry. I don't know what's gotten into him.
It's just thunder. It's OK.
Daddy, what if he hurts himself?
What if he tries to get away?
Daddy, what's happening?
Let's get out of the way.
Do you know what a pathological fear is?
It's a fear that goes way beyond normal fears.
It's a fear that you can't be talked out of,
can't be reasoned out of.
I think Winn-Dixie has a pathological fear
of thunderstorms.
We get an awful lot of thunderstorms
in the summer.
Well, we'll have to make sure
he doesn't get out during a storm.
He might run away.
- We'll have to make sure we keep him safe.
- Yes, sir.
- I've been talking to Winn-Dixie.
- Oh, is that right?
He thinks, since I'm ten years old, you should
tell me ten things about my mama.
Why don't you just go back to bed, Opal?
Just ten things, that's all.
One thing for each year I've been alive.
He made it sound like a reasonable request.
I should've known you'd be more trouble.
You remind me so much of your mama.
- Yeah?
- Mm-hm.
But that doesn't count as the first thing, OK?
OK. All right.
Ten things, and then it's off to bed, all right?
OK, let's see.
One, she was funny.
She could make just about anybody laugh.
Two, she had fair hair and big eyes.
- Just like me.
- Exactly like you.
- I kind of remember that.
- Do you?
Three, she liked to plant things.
She had a talent for it.
She could stick a tire in the ground
and grow a car.
Four, she could run. Oh, was she fast!
You could never race her.
If you did, you couldn't let her get a head
start. Otherwise she'd beat you for sure.
What's number five?
She couldn't cook.
Burned everything, even water.
Six, your mama loved a good story.
She could sit and listen
to anybody tell a story.
She especially liked funny ones.
Cos she loved to laugh.
And what's number seven?
She knew all the constellations.
Every planet in the night-time sky.
She could name 'em, point 'em out.
She never got tired of looking up at 'em.
Number eight...
She hated being a preacher's wife.
She said she couldn't stand
having all those ladies at church
judging her on how she sang and
what she was wearing and what she cooked.
She said it made her feel
like a bug under a microscope.
What's the ninth thing?
Number nine is...
your mama loved you.
She loved you very much.
But she left me.
She left us.
Why'd she leave us?
She just... packed her bags and left us.
- Didn't leave one thing behind.
- She didn't leave anything?
Nope. Nothing.
What's number ten, Daddy?
- I think that's enough for now.
- But that's only nine things.
It's late.
Think of number ten for me, won't you?
Good night, Opal.
She could stick a tire
in the ground and grow a car.
Burned everything, even water.
She knew all the constellations.
She hated being a preacher's wife.
Made her feel like a bug under a microscope.
That night I went over and over
the nine things the preacher had told me.
Then I wrote them down
just the way he had said them to me.
That way, I would never forget them.
He shouldn't be away from his mom too long,
when they're this small.
What kind of tree is this?
- It's a wait-and-see tree.
- What's that mean?
It means you gotta wait till it grows up
before you can see what it is.
- So you just drifted on into town?
- I told you everything.
Morning, Otis.
Well, well, well.
How long have you known Mr. Otis here?
Not so long, I guess.
So I reckon you know Gertrude too?
- Yes, I do.
- Winn-Dixie.
Yet somehow you don't know Miss Gertrude.
Nor why she'd leave her shop
in the hands of a drifter.
Look, I told you that we're cousins.
You ain't no cousin I know about, smiley.
I told you her mama's sick
and she asked me to look after this store.
Well, aren't you
a big, steaming pile of pancakes
Don't you have anyone else's day you can
ruin? Why come in here? Leave me alone.
Well, well, well.
Somebody's all fired-up on budgie food.
Now, you, we're gonna go outside
and have a little talk, me and you.
Leave the girl alone.
Someone better shut their gob hole.
Come on, little one. Get you out
of the presence of Mr. Ravioli over here.
Come on.
Come on, now.
Now, you don't know so much
about that fella in there, do you?
I know he can sing near anything.
Oh, yeah, he can sing all right.
Like a bird in a cage.
- Did he tell you he was locked up in jail?
- I don't know anything about that.
The preacher know you're working here?
I didn't think so. Yous better watch out.
Hey. Hey! No! Get away from there!
You are in violation of ordinance 2902,
the ramming of a horny head
into a police vehicle.
Don't you sass me, you naughty goose.
Hey, Elvis. You stupid or- ow! -just stoned?
Get out here and help me!
Get away, you freaks!
Get away from me, you hairy barnyard freaks.
I got this lousy goose on me!
10-59! Agh, I went through a stop sign!
You're such a goody-goody.
Shouldn't the preacher's daughter
be at home studying the Bible?
I saw you with the police.
You're so busted.
- That pet shop man is a retarded criminal.
- You don't know anything.
I know the preacher wouldn't like
you hanging round with criminals.
- Lay off her, Stevie.
- I don't care what you guys say.
Go pick your lice, booger-eaters.
Dang, Opal.
How about telling me a story?
Once upon a time,
I hated the Dewberry boys.
- The end.
- Oh, stop that nonsense.
I do hate them. They're ignorant.
They think you're a witch.
Oh, they're just trying to get your attention.
I bet they like you.
Gloria, you know Otis?
No, I don't know Otis,
but I do know what you told me about him.
You know he's a criminal? He's been in jail.
Baby girl, come on,
I want to show you something.
- See this tree?
- Yeah.
- Why are all those bottles on it?
- To keep the ghosts away.
What ghosts?
Ghosts of all the things I've done wrong.
You did that many things wrong?
More than that, baby girl.
But you're not a bad person.
Doesn't mean I haven't done bad things.
But there's whisky bottles on there.
And beer bottles.
That's right. I know that.
I'm the one what drank what was in 'em,
and I'm the one what put 'em up there.
Oh, baby girl.
You know, a lot of folks
have problems with liquor and beer.
They get to start drinking
and can't get stopped.
- Are you one of those people?
- Yes, I am.
But you know something? These days,
I don't drink nothing stronger than coffee.
Did the whisky and beer and wine make you
do all those bad things that are ghosts now?
Some of 'em. Some of 'em I would've done
anyway, with or without the liquor and beer.
Till I learned.
Learned what?
Till I learned
what was the most important thing.
What's that?
It's different for everyone.
Gotta learn it on your own.
But, you know, we should judge Otis
by the pretty music that he makes
and how kind he is to all them animals.
Cos that's all we know about him now.
- Right?
- Yes, ma'am.
All right, then.
Miss Franny, I've got this friend
named Gloria Dump.
And she really loves to read, only
her eyes are bad, so she can't read any more.
So I was thinking
maybe I could read her a story.
- Do you have any suggestions?
- Of course I have suggestions.
- What about Gone with the Wind?
- What's that about?
Oh, it's a wonderful, exciting story
about the Civil War.
The Civil War?
Now, Opal, don't tell me
you have never heard of the Civil War.
It was the war between
the North and the South over slavery.
That's right, Opal. My great-grandfather,
Littmus W. Block, fought in that war.
- I'm ready for another book.
- Amanda, maybe you wouldn't mind waiting.
I was just telling Opal
a story about my great-grandfather.
I sure would like to hear a story
about your great-grandfather.
Now, Littmus, only a boy of 14,
went off to be a hero.
But he soon found out the truth.
- What truth?
- That war is hell, pure hell.
- "Hell" is a cuss word.
- Well, "war" is a cuss word too.
I mean, neither of you can imagine.
Littmus was hungry all the time.
He was covered with all manner of vermin-
fleas and lice.
And he was constantly being shot at.
He suffered in a way that no boy should
ever have to suffer, and it changed him.
Shoot. I can't see nothing.
- Probably ain't nothing to see.
- Come on, Dunlap.
You gotta think like a secret agent.
You gotta think like a spy.
He walked back home when the war was over.
He walked from Virginia
all the way to Georgia.
But when he got there, his parents, his
sisters- everything and everyone was gone.
But what about his sisters?
What happened to them?
Dead. Dead from typhoid fever.
- And his mama?
- Dead too.
And his father?
He died on the battlefield.
People were dying all over the place.
His whole family's dead.
I wanna hear.
So Littmus was an orphan?
Yes. Poor Littmus was all alone in the world.
When he finished crying,
he had the strangest sensation.
He wanted something sweet.
He wanted a piece of candy.
Yes, ma'am. Littmus W. Block
figured that the world was a sorry affair
and had enough ugly things in it,
and what he was going to do
was put something sweet in it.
Let me see.
- Would you care for a Littmus Lozenge?
- Yes, please.
Thank you.
Now, they're not made any more.
The world, it seems,
lost its appetite for Littmus Lozenges.
Fortunately I had the foresight to save a few.
- Do you like it?
- Yes, ma'am.
What about you, Amanda?
Yes, ma'am. But it makes me feel sad.
There is a secret ingredient in there.
What is it?
Not everybody can taste it.
- I taste it.
- Me too.
Well, then, you've probably both
had your share of sadness.
The world has changed so much.
People in Naomi used to
know each other's sadnesses.
They used to rely on each other.
This town just isn't the same
without the candy factory.
But how do you get sadness
into a piece of candy?
Yeah, how do you get that taste in there?
That is the mystery.
That's how Littmus made his fortune.
By manufacturing a candy
that tasted sweet and sad at the same time.
Man, we missed out on the candy.
Now they're just sitting around,
talking about how they feel.
Come on.
I had to move away from Watley
and leave all my friends behind.
That's one sadness I've known.
And my mama.
I don't know my mama.
I only know a few things about her.
There's something the preacher won't tell me.
- Makes me think of Carson.
- Hey, guys.
Bookworms. Where's your apples?
I have to go.
- What's with her?
- Who's Carson?
Carson was Amanda's brother.
He drowned last year.
I saw the whole thing.
Come on, Dunlap.
Gloria said that Naomi
was like one big mistake tree
and every person was its own bottle
hanging in the wind, all empty and alone.
Miss Franny thought it had been that way
ever since the candy factory closed years ago.
People lost more than their jobs.
They lost each other.
Tastes like music.
Reminds me of...
being in jail.
Otis, what were you in jail for?
You don't have to tell me.
I was just wondering.
I never hurt anybody.
Never meant to.
But I've been locked up.
And I remember the day very well.
I was sitting in a park, playing a little music,
and there were people walking their dogs,
and children were laughing.
It was a perfect day,
so I felt like playing music.
I put my hat out there,
but I wasn't really playing for money.
I just thought that maybe
if someone was enjoying it,
they might throw a little change in there.
- Or not.
- Music is better if somebody's listening.
Anyway, this...
this policeman came up to me.
He said I was disturbing the peace.
And then he tried to take my guitar away
from me. I guess I got real angry at him.
But I'm not a bad man.
Anyway, they told me
that I broke that policeman's nose.
And they charged me
with assault on a police officer.
And no matter what I said,
they wouldn't listen.
No matter what I said, they wouldn't...
They gave me three years.
I said I'm not a bad man, I'm just...
But you, when I look at you...
I swept the floor real slow that day.
I wanted to keep Otis company.
I didn't want him to be lonely.
Sometimes it seemed to me like
everybody in the whole world was lonely.
That tastes bad.
That tastes like not having a dog.
I wondered if my mama,
wherever she was,
was lonely for me.
Thinking about her was like the hole
you keep on feeling with your tongue
after you lose a tooth.
Time after time, my mind
kept on going to that empty spot.
The spot where I felt like she should be.
Here! Here!
What do you think?
Should we give some to the boys?
Yeah. They haven't been very nice.
They never want to play with us.
Try this one, Dunlap.
- Winn-Dixie.
- I got it! I got it!
I got it! I got it!
- Whoa!
- There he is. Get him!
Just get him.
Help. Help me, Dunlap.
What in the name of corn on the cob
is going on around here?
Have we got a situation here, fellas?
No, sir. They're just all playing.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Keep away from me.
Get off of me! Ow!
Get off of me,
you hairy, heavy-metal hound dog.
Give me my pants back.
Oh, that's a wedgie.
This whole town's gone mad!
- Look, he has chicken legs.
- I suppose you think this is funny.
Don't look at me.
He wasn't trying to hurt you.
He just wanted to give you a candy.
You little sea monkeys.
I'm gonna see you in sea-monkey jail.
I'd better put it in drive.
What's wrong? You all right?
Oh, Winn-Dixie!
How many did you eat of these?
Oh, that's gross.
Oh, Winn-Dixie.
Opal, I hope you don't
have that dog in your bed.
- Daddy?
- Opal.
It's two in the morning.
What are you doing up?
Daddy, are you hungry?
Were you looking for something to eat?
Yeah, that's it. I'm hungry.
Try this.
- What's this?
- A Littmus Lozenge.
Do you like it?
A candy that tastes melancholy.
- What's "melancholy"?
- Sad.
It's supposed to taste sad.
It makes me think of your mother.
Do you think about her a lot?
I do, Opal.
Daddy, did she drink?
There are some things
you're just too young to understand.
I understand a lot of things.
I know about people with drinking problems.
Gloria Dump had a drinking problem.
I want to understand.
I don't even understand
what happened with your mama.
We were happy, I know that,
for a long time.
It seemed like a long time we were happy.
Then she started drinking.
She started drinking?
And that's the tenth thing?
But it's more complicated than that.
Did she drink because I was bad?
Is it my fault that she left?
No. No! It's not your fault.
Don't ever say it's your fault.
Don't ever say that.
- Do you hear me?
- Yes, sir.
I thought about how life
was like a Littmus Lozenge.
How the sweet and the sad
were all mixed up together,
and how hard it was to separate them out.
He's so angry.
He's hurting, that's why.
Everybody's hurting.
It makes me feel sad.
I want to help him,
but I just don't know what to do.
Well, don't dwell on it, child.
Why don't we see what Miss Scarlett's doing?
I believe she's getting ready for that party.
That's what we need to do.
- "We" who?
- We. Me and you. We should have a party.
Don't you think we should
have a party, Winn-Dixie?
We can invite Miss Franny Block,
the preacher and Otis.
- Opal, don't go in there!
- Come on, we need to start planning.
- No!
- Wow. It's dark in here.
Hold on now. Opal.
Opal? Where are you?
- You see? That's a lot better.
- Close those curtains.
- Come on.
- Stop it!
You cannot have any party here.
I haven't had folks in here for years.
We could just make sandwiches,
and Otis can bring his guitar.
I said no, and that's the end of it.
Miss Franny said
the problem with people here
is that they forgot
how to share their sadness.
But what I think is that people forgot
how to share their joy.
Oh, Winn-Dixie.
Gloria, we need this party.
- Please.
- Oh, Lord.
Well, if we're gonna have a party...
this house needs a big pick-up
if we're gonna have folks over.
Whoo! We're having a party.
We're gonna have a party, and don't you
forget to invite them Dewberry boys.
Thank you, Opal.
You're gonna come, right?
Yeah. I'll be there.
Should be done with prayer group by then.
We're having a party, and you're invited.
You don't have to thank me.
It was Winn-Dixie's idea.
Come on, Winn-Dixie.
Come on.
Little miss?
He don't howl so much any more.
He's not so lonely any more.
Come on.
- Mr. Alfred, you're one of the first people here.
- No sense dilly-dallying.
- Hello, Opal.
- Hi, Miss Franny.
- Mr. Alfred, do you know Miss Franny?
- No.
- Miss Franny. Hello.
- Nice to meet you.
I brung dog pictures for the party.
Oh. That's great, Sweetie Pie.
Let me show you.
Come on, Winn-Dixie.
- Oh, wow. They're beautiful.
- Hey, Opal.
Oh, hey, Amanda.
I'm so glad you could come.
- Thank you for inviting me.
- Thanks for coming.
Gloria! Gloria!
I'm coming, I'm coming.
I'm coming, baby girl.
Please don't rush me.
I'm so nervous.
I haven't done this in such a long time.
It's OK. You look beautiful.
Well, thank you for my hair and
my fingernails. And you look pretty too.
- You wearing that necklace I gave you?
- Mm-hm.
Oh, everything is so beautiful, Opal.
I can see it. I can just see it.
- Hi, Gloria.
- Who's that?
Gloria, I'd like you to meet
my new friend Amanda.
Amanda? What a beautiful name.
I'm glad you came.
Me too.
- And this is Miss Franny Block.
- Hello, Gloria. I've heard all about you.
- I hope you're enjoying Gone with the Wind.
- Thank you.
- And that's Mr. Alfred.
- Miss Gloria, I'm delighted to meet you.
I had no idea all this was back here.
- Hey, Otis.
- Otis. Uh-oh.
It's all right. It's just a few people.
Hardly any people at all.
- I brought pickles.
- Oh! That's just exactly what we needed.
They'll go perfectly
with the egg salad sandwiches.
Miss Franny, this is Otis.
It's a pleasure to shake your hand.
- Thank you. I brought pickles.
- Yes, I see. It's nice.
Oh, and this is Gloria Dump.
I brought pickles for the party.
I'm glad you did.
I mean, it wouldn't be no party
without pickles.
Now, I've been to several parties
with no pickles.
And not one of 'em was any fun.
Otis, you can put the pickles down
right over here.
Baby girl? What happened with the Dewberry
boys? And where's the preacher?
I don't know. I told them
what time we were starting.
Look at that dog and look at that bird.
Oh, no, Winn-Dixie.
No, Winn-Dixie.
Get down, get down.
Winn-Dixie, come on.
Well, if we don't eat soon,
there won't be any food left.
I think you're right. Let's just
hold hands and give thanks for this.
Opal, give me your hand. Winn-Dixie, sit.
Dear Lord and heavenly Father,
we have egg salad sandwiches,
we got Dump's punch, we got pickles,
we got doggy pictures
and we have Littmus Lozenges.
But more importantly, dear Lord,
we have good friends.
Dear Lord, we got good friends
to share this warm summer night with us.
And for that we're grateful.
Teach us, dear Lord, to love one another.
This we ask in your name. Amen.
- Are we fixing to eat now?
- I think we might wanna eat inside.
It's not supposed to rain.
- Oh, my gosh!
- Get everything out of the rain!
Get the sandwiches. Get the punch.
Somebody get the punch!
Get the sandwiches.
Oh, yes, I'm cleaned up real good now.
Did you get the sandwiches?
Somebody get the sandwiches?
- Yeah. They're all wet.
- And the punch?
- Yeah.
- Get the sandwiches. Uh-oh.
I'll put 'em down.
Can I talk to you, please?
Opal, you worked real hard.
I brought this for you.
I figured you'd earned it.
- Thanks, Otis.
- Dog. Dog. Dog.
Don't worry. I got the dog pictures.
I got 'em right here.
Winn-Dixie. Winn-Dixie.
Oh, no.
Winn-Dixie, he's scared of thunder.
No, Winn-Dixie! No!
Opal, no. He's probably outside under a chair.
- Take the flashlight and go and look. Opal.
- No! No!
Opal, take the flashlight.
Opal! Opal!
- You can't see!
- Come back!
Opal! Opal!
Dewberry boys. Got all wet.
Opal, your guests are here!
- Opal! Your guests are here.
- I don't care!
Now, you come up here right this minute.
Come right up here.
Now, let me tell you something.
This is your party.
And I want you to tell these boys
how glad you are that they came.
Thank you for coming to my party.
- It's just I gotta find Winn-Dixie.
- Do you want me to help?
Listen. Opal.
You cannot hold onto anything that wants
to go. Do you understand what I'm saying?
You just got to love it
while you got it, and that's that.
- I've just got to find him!
- Opal! Wait till the rain stops!
- Is he here?
- Who?
Winn-Dixie. He's gone. He ran away
because of the storm, and I can't find him.
Come on in out of the rain, Opal.
We were at the party
and you were supposed to be there.
- And you weren't. And now he's gone.
- Opal.
Come back here! Opal.
Here, take your raincoat.
We'll look for him together.
- Winn-Dixie!
- Winn-Dixie?
I'll write a list of ten things about him.
That way people'll know him if they see him.
We'll find him, Opal.
One, he has a pathological fear
of thunderstorms.
Two, he likes to smile at everyone he meets.
Three, he likes going to church.
Four, he snores.
Five, he can catch mice
without squishing them to death.
Number six... number six
is he likes to meet people.
Number seven,
he sure does like peanut butter.
Number eight, he can't stand to be left alone.
Nine, he likes to sit on couches
and sleep in beds.
Number ten is... he was a dog
who knew how to be a friend.
I kept on going over and over
that list in my head,
the same way I did with the list
of ten things about my mama.
I memorized it so if I didn't find him,
I'd at least have some part of him
to hold onto.
It's getting late, Opal. You're getting tired.
We need to head back.
But, Daddy, he's out there.
We can't leave him.
There's only so much looking we can do.
- You're gonna give up.
- Opal.
You give up on everything.
- That's not true.
- It is true. All you do is give up.
Just pull your head back inside
your stupid turtle shell and give up.
You won't talk. You won't go to parties.
And I bet you didn't even go out
looking for Mama when she left.
- I bet you just let her run off too.
- I couldn't stop her. I tried.
No, I tried. You don't think I wanted
her to stay too? She was everything to me.
You didn't try. She wasn't everything to you.
Yes, she was.
Opal, she was everything- everything!
I failed her, all right? I failed her.
- I failed her, Opal. I tried and I tried...
- You didn't try. I know you didn't.
I did. I tried and I tried and I tried.
With everything I had.
It's my fault.
Opal, it's all my fault.
I'm sorry.
And don't believe losing Winn-Dixie isn't
gonna upset me as much as it does you.
I love that dog. I love him too.
I love you, Daddy.
I love you too.
- Do you think Mama will ever come back?
- No. No, I don't, Opal.
I've hoped, prayed and dreamed about her
coming back. I don't think it'll happen.
Gloria told me
that you can't hold onto anybody.
That you can only love
what you got while you've got it.
Gloria Dump is a wise person.
But I'm not ready to let Winn-Dixie go.
Well, we'll keep on looking.
Opal, remember when I told you your mama
took everything with her when she left?
Yes, sir.
Well, there's one very important thing
she left behind.
- What?
- You.
Thank God your mama left me you.
- Did you find him?
- No.
Not yet. We haven't found him yet.
- We went looking too.
- We drove all over.
I'm sorry, Opal. We just drove all over town.
I had a dog once
that wandered all over the place.
And, when he got through wandering...
he came home.
Don't worry, Opal.
He'll come back. He's got to.
- Preacher?
- Mm-hm?
You're blessed with this one.
Is she praying?
- Are you praying?
- No, I'm not praying. I'm just thinking.
- What about?
- A lot of different things.
I'm sorry I called you guys
baldheaded babies.
- You want to come back inside?
- I guess so.
- I'll race you to the angel by the porch.
- Go!
- Otis, you know any hymns?
- Yeah, I know some.
- You hum it, Daddy. I know he can play it.
- Oh. All right.
Oh, Winn-Dixie! How'd you get back here?
Where've you been, you dumb dog?
Well? Are we having a party,
or are we having a party?
We're having a party,
and the theme is this dog.
- All right!
- It is lovely, it is beautiful.
My heart doesn't feel so empty any more.
It's full, all the way up.
I've got Winn-Dixie, I've got Gloria Dump,
and Miss Franny Block, and Otis,
and even the Dewberry boys.
And I also have the preacher back
as my daddy.
It was a good story, right?
And it's all because of... well, you know.
Glory, hallelujah! Hallelujah!