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Animal Dreams

Barbara Kingsolver

Chapters 10–12

Chapters 7–9

Chapters 10–12, page 2

page 1 of 2
Summary

Chapter 10: The Mask

Doc Homer examines a pregnant teenager and thinks about Codi's pregnancy. He knows that she is in her fifth or sixth month, but does not know how to tell her as much. Feeling responsible and helpless, he is unable to say or do anything.

Chapter 11: A River on the Moon

The day before Codi and Loyd are supposed to go to Whiteriver, Loyd is called in at work for a weeklong trip. Helping J.T. to prune the trees, Codi finds out that in Loyd's spare time he fights cocks. Codi is disturbed by the news of Loyd's cockfighting, but J.T. explains that it has to do with carrying on a family tradition, and Codi respects his warning to hold off judgment.

Loyd visits Codi with some regularity, and they develop a comfortable friendship, although Codi tries not to become to attached to wanting him to be there. One night they kiss, prompting Codi to have a strange dream in which she tells Hallie about the kiss and Hallie ignores her. Codi's dream life is rather active other nights as well. She dreams of Carlo, who has written her a friendly letter. She remembers when she and Carlo first got together, during their internships in medical school. Then her mind wanders to the year that Carlo worked at a clinic in rural Crete. She refers again to the fact that she did not have a license to practice medicine. Commenting on her slight discomfort with a life spent following her boyfriend, she provides a few more details about her lack of a medical license, explaining that she had dropped out of medical school during her last months of residency. She refers again to an incident with a difficult birth.

The school year progresses. Codi establishes a fairly good relationship with her students. On an especially hot day, they go to the river and collect water samples to look at under microscopes. When they try to examine the life forms they find in the water, however, they discover that there are absolutely none. They test the pH and find that the water has in incredibly high acid content. Appalled, Codi talks to Viola about the water. Viola explains the dumping from Black Mountain and informs her that the Environmental Protection Agency only requires that Black Mountain divert the water away from where people live. In order to do this, they will damn the river and deprive the orchards of all their water. The question has already been discussed at a town meeting, and there appears to be no alternative.

On a Saturday night in October, Codi accompanies Emelina to a dance concert at the outdoor restaurant run by Doña Althea's family. The two women talk about J.T. and other old acquaintances. Emelina teases Codi about her date the next day with Loyd. In an attempt to deal with her expectation that Loyd would not remain interested in her for long, Codi tells Emelina that they would not make a good couple. As they talk, the baby chokes, and Codi saves his life. Codi is as perturbed as Emelina is grateful over her intervention. Codi sleeps in the baby's room that night, thinking about Loyd and realizing that despite her protests to Emelina, she will have sex with him.

Chapter 12: Animal Dreams

On Sunday morning, Codi struggles over her outfit until Loyd arrives. On the way out of town, they stop at the post office, and Codi gets another letter from Hallie, dated three weeks earlier. In the short letter, Codi writes that she is settling down happily in Nicaragua, helping a farming collective to improve their cultivation practices. She adds that she of course remembers the day in the riverbank and is surprised that Codi might not. The letter prompts Codi to ask Loyd if there is anything for which he would die. His answer, "the land," is not clear to Codi.

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