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Animal Dreams

Barbara Kingsolver

Chapters 17–19

Chapters 15–16

Chapters 17–19, page 2

page 1 of 2
Summary

Chapter 17: Peacock Ladies at the Café Gertrude Stein.

The Stitch and Bitch Club decides to make a huge number of piñatas to sell in Tucson as a fundraiser for the campaign against Black Mountain. In mid- December, Codi and Emelina accompany the ladies to the city. The fund- raiser is a huge success, and they sell a truckload of birds in a single day. They decide to come back in ten days with 500 peacocks, each accompanied by a written piece about Grace and its plight, which they designate Codi to write. Emelina and Codi stay the weekend with Carlo in Tucson. While Codi and Carlo are up late talking, they see the "Peacock ladies" on television. Carlo invites Codi to move to Denver or to Aspen with him, and she considers it, because it would involve few risks. On the way back to Grace, Codi and Emelina visit Colossal Cave and talk about Loyd. When the guide turns off all of the lights in the cave, Codi realizes that her recurring nightmare of losing her vision and her fear of the dark are connected to a larger fear of losing any idea of where she is in the world.

Chapter 18: Ground Orientation

Working non-stop and using every scrap of blue material in the town, the Stitch and Bitch club, Codi, and a great many of others, is able to make more than 250 peacocks in ten days. Twice as many people as the first time travel to Tucson to sell them, but Codi goes with Loyd to spend Christmas on the reservation.

On the way to the reservation, Loyd tells Codi he has given over the cockfighting business to his friend Collie Bluestone, who moved them to another Reservation. When Codi asks how he'll feel if they don't stay together, Loyd chides her that he didn't give up the cockfighting for her per se, but because he realized that he agreed with her objections. They talk about Loyd's twin brother, Leander. In Pueblo tradition, twins are bad luck. The two boys, nicknamed Twice as Bad, lived as if they were a single person, he says. As he tells Codi about Leander's death, he also tells her about how Jack escaped when his father drowned the rest of the litter. When they were fifteen, Loyd and his brother moved to Whiteriver to be with their father and become men. Leander was killed in a fight in a bar of puncture wounds and internal hemorrhaging.

They drive down into the valley at the bottom of the Navajo tribal land, and sleep in the truck to wake up right in front of Spider Rock. Loyd explains that it's named after Spider Woman, who exists in both Pueblo and Navajo stories. As they hike around, Loyd asks Codi if she ever thinks about having children. She almost tells him about their child. They talk about Loyd's family. In describing his parents and aunts, he gives Codi a lesson in Native American history, explaining the difference between Pueblo, Navajo, and Apache, as well as the matrilineal system. Codi is impressed by Loyd's deep care for and understanding of the land and its products. They drive further, still talking about their respective childhoods. Loyd's aunt Sonia has a pecan and a peach orchard in Grace that he worked on as a teenager; he will inherit the peach orchard as soon as he has children. Codi lists for Loyd her strange job history and tells him stories about her time in Crete, sharing more with him than she does even with Emelina because somehow he never makes her feel like an outsider. Loyd takes her into the Jemez Mountains and then leads her on a hike through the snow to a natural hotspring. As they swim, Codi asks Loyd if he was ever in love with Hallie. Loyd barely remembers Hallie.

On Christmas Eve, Codi opens the last of Hallie's most recent letters. In it, Hallie admonishes Codi for thinking she is not good enough and for expecting there to be some perfect, divine answer in the world about what she should do with her life. The letter makes Codi cry, and think, "I'd spent a long time circling above the clouds, looking for life, while Hallie was living it."

Chapter 19: The Bread Girl

Santa Rosalia Pueblo blends in so perfectly with the landscape that Codi doesn't notice they are approaching it until they arrive. At Loyd's mother's house, his sister greets them, speaking with Loyd in Keresan. His sisters, aunts and his mother Inez greet Codi warmly, but she feels very out of place. That night, more relatives join them for the enormous feast Inez and the other women have prepared. Of the over twenty dishes, Codi recognizes only the lime Jell-O. She enjoys it all, especially the bread of which she eats so much that the family nicknames her the Bread Girl.

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