Because of Winn-Dixie (2005) Script

(drumroll)

(rousing orchestral fanfare playing)

(fanfare ends)


(birds chirping)

(insects buzzing)

(ball hits ground)

Safe!

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.

(singing)


(church bell tolling)

I appreciate you comin'. I really do.

Thank you very much.

(chuckling): All right, have a seat in there.

Oh, is that a... Good morning.

Is that for me, I hope?

Yes, it sure is. Yeah.

(singing continues)


I feel blessed to be brought here to Naomi to do God's work in His new church.

I have to admit, I'm-I'm still trying to get used to the idea of His house being in a convenience store.

(chuckles)

Nothing wrong with making church more convenient.

(coughs)

(singing continues)

(singing ends)

(sighs)

I have preached in some pretty strange places in my time.

Not that... not that this is a strange place.

I didn't mean that.

I ju... Ah!

Opal.

Come on in. Come on.

Sit down.

Please.

(whispering): Glad you finally made it.

This is my daughter, India Opal.

Forgive us. We're new here.

Still trying to find our way around.

(chuckling)

Maybe, uh, one of you two boys could teach Opal a better shortcut to church, hmm?

(scoffs)

PREACHER: No?

(chuckles)

Oh, well, let-let us pray.

(sighs)

Our Father, who art in Heaven...

OPAL: 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 ol'Amanda Wilkinson, whose face is always pinched up like she's smellin'somethin' real bad.

And Sweetie Pie Thomas, who's only five years old, still mostly a baby, and is always suckin' on her knuckle.

And there's Dunlap and Stevie Dewberry.

And 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, Sadie.

(grunting)

But even the bald Dewberry boys don't want to be my friend, anyway.

And one more thing, God.

I miss my mama.

Please, God, I'd really like to see my mama again.

Amen.

CONGREGATION: Amen.

ANNOUNCER (over television): Unless it's good supervision.

PREACHER: Opal, come on.!

No TV until you put some of that stuff away.

ANNOUNCER (over television): Brett Parker in that hitting streak...

(ball strikes ground)

I'll bet they already have a new pitcher.

We're not moving back to Watley.

I know it's hard movin' all the time, but that's part of my job.

OPAL: Up and at 'em, Daddy!

OPAL: Up and at 'em, Daddy!

I made orange juice!

Daddy, I made orange juice!

Daddy!

(song on radio)

(song fades)

(bicycle rattling)

WOMAN (over P.A.): Well, folks, we've got some wonderful specials today I want to tell you about in Aisle 3.

Uh, in the meat department, you'll notice the pork chops are...

(rustling)

FEMALE EMPLOYEE: Did you see it?

MALE EMPLOYEE: Come on. Come on.

We can get him over here. Come on.

MALE EMPLOYEE #2: There he goes, that way!

FEMALE EMPLOYEE: Oh! Get over here!

I'll get him!

Comin'-comin' through!

WOMAN (over P.A. System): Boyd?

Boyd Lee, could you please approach the produce section?

(screaming)

(giggles)

What... what in the Sam Hill is goin' on?

What is goin' on?

WOMAN (over P.A. System): Please report to the produce section, Boyd.

BOYD: I'm in the produce section.

What? What is it?

WOMAN (over P.A. System): It's a dog, Boyd.

BOYD: We can't have no dog in the Winn-Dixie.

Well, don't let him get by the eggs!

(all exclaiming)

MALE EMPLOYEE: He's gone left! We're goin' left!

Look, there he goes! Stop him! Stop him!

Hey! He's goin' around! Go get him!

MALE EMPLOYEE: I got him! I got him!

BOYD: Tracy, go 'round that way!

Get the do...!

(sighs): Cut him off!

MALE EMPLOYEE: He's goin' that way!

BOYD (shouting): No!

Get that dog!

MALE EMPLOYEE: He's under the table!

FEMALE EMPLOYEE: I think he's trapped now, y'all.

(giggles)

Will somebody grab that dog, please?!

Somebody, grab that dog!

(barks)

Somebody, grab that d...

(groaning): Oh!

(barking)

Get him off of me!

I don't like dogs.

Somebody, get him off of me.

OPAL: It's okay, sir.

All that dog wants to do is get face-to-face with you and thank you for the good time he's havin'.

(sobbing)

Call the pound!

Mike, go call the pound.

OPAL: Wait!

Don't call the pound! That's my dog!

And then I knew I had done somethin' 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!

BOYD: Who named the dog "Winn-Dixie"?

Me. It's his name, honest.

(sniffles)

Don't you know better than to bring a dog in the grocery store?

OPAL: Sorry, sir.

It won't happen again. I promise.

Come on, Winn-Dixie.

Well, what are all y'all lookin' at?

That dog almost ate my face off.

(blubbering)

Sit.

Stay here. I'll be right back.

(barks)

Sometimes the preacher looked just like a turtle hidin' inside its shell:

In there, thinkin' about things, and not ever stickin' his head out into the world.

Daddy?

Yes, what is... what is it?

Wh-What is it, Opal?

I found a dog, and I want to keep him.

You... 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.

Oh, he doesn't neither need you.

He does, too!

Oh, for goodness' sakes, it don't...

Yes, it does! Winn-Dixie!

Here, boy!

The last thing in the world that we need is a... Uh! (barks)

Ow.

(grunts): This isn't a dog. It's a horse.

And he's homeless, too.

Yeah, and 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.

(sighs): Yeah, well...

(barks)

(barking)

(sighs)

OPAL: Look, he's smilin' at you.

Don't you love a dog with a sense of humor?

Oh, would you run and get the tweezers?

I think he's got something stuck in his paw.

(sighs)

Here.

Yeah.

He's a nice dog, isn't he?

(sighs)

(Winn-Dixie whimpers)

He's a great dog, isn't he?

(whimpers)

You can't keep this dog, Opal.

Oh, please, Daddy, look at him!

He's skinny! He's needs to be fed well.

And bathed, too! No.

Oh, please... No, no, no.

Please! No! No! I said no.

(whispering): Please?

(whimpers)

All right, he can stay here while you're trying to find him a home or you figure out where he belongs.

He can stay?! Temporarily.

(whispering): Yes!

You're not keepin' him, Opal.

This is temporary, so don't go getting your hopes up.

(barks) I know it, sir.

We're not gettin' our hopes up, are we, Winn-Dixie?

Good. No, no, no.

Why don't you go make some signs so folks'll know that, you know, you found a dog who needs a home.

Come on, Winn-Dixie!

And a bath and a shower.

And a bath and a shower.

(song on radio)


Hey, hey, come back here, Winn-Dixie!

(song ends)

(grunts)

Little miss... you think you're using up enough water?

Uh, we still got to rinse.

Opal, where'd you get that hose?

I didn't think you'd mind if I borrowed it.

Well, I do mind!

Oh!

I'm sorry, Mr. Alfred!

I'm sorry! Whoa!

(barking)

MR. ALFRED: Come back here, you stupid dog, you!

(barks)

If I catch you, so help me, you won't...

Oh!

(groans)

MR. ALFRED: 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-we're not keeping him.

We're trying to find him a good home.

Well, hurry it up, or I'm calling the pound.

(low growl)

We... (sighs)

Daddy?

Dry that dog off, Opal.

And dry yourself off, too.

You know, Winn-Dixie, if my mom were around, I bet she'd let me keep you.

Ever since we moved here, I've been thinking about my mama extra hard.

Opal, I hope that dog's not in your bed.

OPAL: Yes, sir.

L-I mean, no, sir, he's not.

(whines softly)

I really don't know where she is.

She left when I was only three years old.

I can't hardly remember her.

(whines softly)

PREACHER: And make sure you got your window shut tight.

Don't want that rain gettin' in.

OPAL: Okay.

(whines softly)

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?

Mm, I'll think about it.

You're supposed to be in bed.

Daddy, can you tell me about Mama?

Uh, 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.

(kisses Opal)

(grunts)

PREACHER: Opal.

You ready to head out and put up those signs?

Yes, sir.

Hold on.

(sneezes) (groans)

No, leave him here.

Stay here. (whines)

Stay.

(singing)


What the...?

(singing continues)

God... bless it.

(Winn-Dixie barks)

(mournful howling)

Opal, would you bring that dog inside, please?

(howling)

(whining)

Come on, Winn-Dixie.

That night, I wrote down 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.

(singing continues)

Hey, boy.

Where are we goin'?

(singing ends)

You like that?

I bet with a collar like that you'd feel like you belonged to somebody.

Well, maybe we could afford it.

(coins jingling)

(bell dinging) Winn-Dixie.

(birds chittering softly)

Hello?

BIRD (mimicking): Hello?

(goose squawks)

Hello.

BIRD: Hello.

(goose squawking loudly)

BIRD: Hello.

Hello.

(squawks)

(quietly): Hello?

(clears throat)

I-I-I'm sorry.

Do you work here?

Yeah, but we're closed.

(Winn-Dixie sniffs)

Hey. Hey.

Don't mind him.

That's just how he says hello.

Um, that's Winn-Dixie and I'm Opal.

I'm, uh, Otis.

BIRD: Otis. (squawks)

Well, Otis, my dog sure likes this red collar, but I don't get a big enough allowance to afford somethin' this fancy.

Well, look, Miss.

I'm mostly just here to take care of the animals.

BIRD: Otis. (squawks)

Shut up, idiot.

I was thinking maybe we could set up an installment plan.

Well, I don't think I can do that.

Well, I could work for you.

I could come in and 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.

BIRD: Otis. Hello.

I'm real trustworthy.

But the only thing is, Winn-Dixie, my dog, he'd have to come inside 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.

Gertrude. (squawks)

It's named after the owner.

Doesn't like dogs.

Well, she might like Winn-Dixie.

Almost everybody does.

If the two of'em get along, then could I have the job?

Mm, I don't know.

GERTRUDE: Dog. Dog. Dog!

I know it's a dog.

Gertrude's a pretty bird.

Hello.

Hello, dog.

(Winn-Dixie grunts)

See? She likes him.

That's pretty amazing, don't you think?

OTIS: I'll be damned.

Then we're all set, then. Thanks.

No, wait, Miss.

I can't-I can't just give you a job.

I can't just give you a... 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. Have a nice day.

Little ten-year-old kid walk in here, make me look like a idiot.

GERTRUDE: Shut up, idiot.

(strained breathing)

(grunts angrily)

(chuckles): Yeah?

Need some help?

Get rid of that dog.

Oh, Lord.

What did he, uh, what'd he do now?

Nothin'.

He don't have to do nothin'.

I make the rules here, and it's plain: No pets.

Well, you know, Opal's been very responsible with the dog, Mr. Alfred.

She's still lookin' for a home.

Uh, well, get me a photo.

I'll post it on eBay.

I'll get you competing bids within an hour.

Okay, thank you, but I don't think that's necessary.

You just 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.

(sighs)

Mr. Alfred, please.

I'm sure we can work somethin' out.

I mean, just give us a little bit more time.

You want a home or a dog?

Call the pound.

(crickets chirping)

Well, yeah, I just-I just figure you got such a nice, big place over there, you know.

And, uh, and he's, and I'm sure he'd be fine with-with your other dogs.

Uh-huh.

(Opal grunts)

Uh-huh. Don't let him see you.

Uh-huh, yeah, look, he's very playful.

Yeah, he's great with kids.

Opal thinks the world of him.

Yeah. Mm-hmm.

Yeah. Well, listen, if you think of somebody, you be sure to give me a call, all right?

(growls softly)

Okay. Come back here, Winn-Dixie.

I hope to see you in church on Sunday.

(Winn-Dixie groans) Come on.

Okay, all right. Bye, now.

(song on radio)

(vehicle approaching)

(song ends)

(Winn-Dixie barking)

No.

OPAL: Winn-Dixie.

Dixie.

Dixie. No!

Opal. Opal. Opal. (Winn-Dixie barking)

Come on. Come on. I know, I know.

No! Sir, I need you to sign this release form, please. It's not right, Daddy.

You know it isn't! Opal.

(sobbing): No!

Stop that right now.

Please, Daddy. (Winn-Dixie barking)

He's the only friend I have!

(sobbing): Don't take him away.

Please.

Please. (Winn-Dixie whining)

(Opal crying)

Please?

(Winn-Dixie whining)

Wait.

Don't take him.

What, this isn't the dog?

Uh, there's been a mistake.

That isn't the dog.

(van door opening)

(Winn-Dixie barks, whines)

(van doors closing)

(engine starting)

(sighs): Come on. Get him inside.

Let's go.

OPAL: The preacher took a loan out from church and paid off our rent, but he had to promise Mr. Alfred that he would find Winn-Dixie a home before the end of summer.

I would have 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.

(Winn-Dixie panting)

(Winn-Dixie whines)

This is our town.

See?

Kinda lonely, isn't it?

What?

(Winn-Dixie whines)

(barks)

Hey, Winn-Dixie.

Wait... wait for me, boy.

(barks)

Hey, Winn-Dixie.

(barks)

(barks)

Winn-Dixie, come back here.

That's the library.

(barks)

Winn-Dixie, you can't go in there.

It says so on the sign.

(whispers): Wow, look at all those books.

(classical music playing quietly in background)

(snoring softly)

(music continues playing)

(woman screams)

(gasps): Oh, my goodness.

(woman panting)

Are you all right?

(panting): It's a bear.

A bear?

It's a bear. He's come back.

He has? Yes. Yes.

Where is he?

(panting): He's right out there.

That's no bear.

That's just a dog.

It's my dog, Winn-Dixie.

A dog?

Oh. I...

It's your dog?

Oh. You sure?

Yes, ma'am, I'm positive.

I'd know him anywhere.

All right. Let me help you up.

Oh. Come on.

(woman panting)

(sighs) It's okay.

Mm.

(panting)

Wh-Who are you?

I'm India Opal. Oh.

But you can just call me Opal.

Well, I'm Miss Franny.

You must think I'm a silly ol' thing mistaking a dog for a bear.

Are you sure that is a dog?

Yes, ma'am.

I'm sure. Hmm.

He just don't like to be left alone is all.

Mm-hmm.

Sorry to bother you, Miss Franny.

Well, I-I had a bad experience with a bear coming into Herman W. Block Memorial Library, and I've never quite gotten over it.

A bear came into the library?

Oh, yes.

It's quite a story.

Sure would like to hear it.

But Winn-Dixie gets lonely without me.

(sighs): Well... maybe we could make an exception.

Now, one hot Thursday, way back then, I was sittin' 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.

(roaring) 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!

Be gone! (Winn-Dixie barks)

(laughs)

Good dog.

Thank you.

(barks happily)

And do you know what?

No, ma'am. What?

This is why I will never forget.

He took the book with him.

Nuh-uh.

Yes, ma'am, he snatched it up and ran off.

(bear snorts)

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. '

(bear snorts)

(chuckles)

Ah, I imagine I'm the only one who even recalls that bear.

(whines)

You don't have a husband or children?

Mm, 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 smilin' at me.

(Miss Franny chuckles)

Would you like to be friends?

You and me and Winn-Dixie?

Would you wanna be friends?

Why, that would be fine.

That would be grand.

Just grand.

OPAL: Winn-Dixie was better at makin'friends than anyone I had ever known.

I talked to him about everything.

And he was a real good listener.

(whines)

Just about everything good that happened that summer happened because of Winn-Dixie.

(Opal kisses Winn-Dixie)

(Winn-Dixie grunts)

(bell dinging)

(birds chirping softly)

(bell dinging)

(birds chirping softly)

(acoustic guitar plays slow melody)

(bird chitters softly)

(guitar continues playing)

[Music] Oh... [music]

[Music] Hey... [music]

[Music] Oh... [music]

(Winn-Dixie whines)

(vocalizing)

(oinks)

(bleats)

(vocalizing continues)

Uh-oh.

[Music] Hey... [music]

GERTRUDE: Dog.

Dog! (Winn-Dixie barks)

(Winn-Dixie barking) Otis, the animals.

(animals squawking)

(squealing)

(shouts): Help me here.

Oh, God.

(barking) Stop it, Winn-Dixie.

Ah. Ooh. (Winn-Dixie barking)

OTIS: Help me get 'em back in the...

Ooh. ...cages.

I'll get the rabbits.

(piglet squealing)

OTIS: You idiot.

(animals squawking)

(Winn-Dixie barking)

(goat bleats, hamster squeaks)

Sarah... (animals squawking)

Sarah, come here, sweetie.

Come on, come on. (piglet squeals)

(Winn-Dixie barking)

(Otis grunts)

Son of a...

(animals squawking frantically)

OPAL: Play some more music.

What?

What I said was, play some more music, Otis.

(animals squawking frantically)

(Winn-Dixie barking)

(playing gentle melody)

(animals quiet down)

Far out. Do it again.

(guitar continues playing)

(birds chirping softly)

(animals chitter contentedly)

Well, it seems to be working.

(bell dinging)

I'm gonna go tell my ma about what I seen.

That man's magic.

He's a magic man.

Bye, Magic Man.

(bell dinging) Bye, Opal.

(guitar continues playing)

Are you really a magic man?

I was just playin' for the animals.

Uh...

(whimpers)

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... it's no good bein' locked up, though.

GERTRUDE: Locked up.

Shut up.

Shut up, idiot.

Shouldn't you be sweepin' up?

(clears throat)

Why don't you sweep up?

With your guitar?

Just sweep up the place and... clean it up a little bit, this mess.

[Music] Hey... [music]

(guitar music continues)

(Otis vocalizing)

(snoring softly)

(guitar music fades)

(snoring continues)

(door squeaks)

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.

(whines)

That mutt ain't got a home yet?

Uh, no, not yet, but we're workin' 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 church-goin' dog.

It'd be a sin.

(barking)

CHOIR: [Music] Amazing Grace [music]

[Music] How sweet the sound [music]

[Music] That saved a wretch like me [music]

(Winn-Dixie howling)

[Music] I once was lost [music]

[Music] But now am found [music]

(howling)

[Music] Was blind... [music]

(chuckles and laughter)

[Music]... but now I see [music]

[Music] 'Twas grace that taught [music]

(barking and whining)

[Music] My heart to fear [music]

[Music] And grace my fears relieved [music]

(howling)

(laughter)

(howling)

(laughing)

[Music] How precious did... [music]

All right, all right!

That's enough. That's enough.

Please, stop. Everyone just stop, please.

Please. (music trails off)

Thank you.

Opal.

He doesn't know the words is all.

But he sure is moved by the spirit.

(congregation chuckles)

Get that dog, now.

Yes, sir.

Oh, my stars!

(congregation chuckles and murmurs)

It's a face only a mother could love.

Are dogs allowed in church?

(whispers): Sit. Sit.

We, uh, 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.

(chuckling)

Yep, folks, they was tyin' themselves to kites and homemade wings and hurlin' themselves off of barns and crashin' off of cliffs.

So how did the Wright brothers do it?

When everybody else was nose-divin' for centuries?

They saw...

(whispering): Don't even think about it.

...the unique value in all the inventors around 'em.

Did you know that part of their wing design was actually the same design as a railroad bridge?

Yeah. No.

Isn't that a genius leap?

Usin' a bridge to fly?

(barking)

(congregation murmurs) Keep on preaching!

I got him! I got him!

And more importantly, they had each other...

(screaming and yelling)

...working as brothers, as a team.

It's the same reason we have...

(congregation exclaiming)

Whoa! Look at him go!

Working together, we can lift this town up!

(barking)

More than just taking a leap of faith, we can learn to fly!

Sorry!

(women screaming)

Opal, stop that dog!

(barking)

(disgusted murmuring)

WOMAN: Mm, mm, mm.

(all gasp)

Never in my life.

A dog catchin' a mouse.

(murmuring)

(sighs)

Let us pray...

for this mouse.

(laughter)


OPAL: That sure was somethin'.

I bet Mama would have gotten a big kick out of it.

Opal, the dog cannot go back to church.

Everybody was talkin'.

They said they hadn't had that much fun in church in a long while.

Opal.


Doesn't it look better?

(barks)

Now where you takin' me, Winn-Dixie?

DUNLAP: That dog looks like a dirty carpet.!

(boys giggle)

Yeah.

I can hear you.

I can hear you guys behind me.

You better watch out!

That dog's headed right for the witch's house.

Winn-Dixie, come back here!

Winn-Dixie!

You better go get your dog out of there.

Get lost, you bald-headed babies!

Hey, that witch is gonna eat that dog for dinner and you for dessert!

I wouldn't go in there, Baloney Breath.

Baloney Breath?

You're just a couple of skinny-armed chickens.

We'll tell the preacher what happened to you.


(whispering): Winn-Dixie?

Winn-Dixie, where are you?

WOMAN: Give me this, I said.

Let it go. Let it go!

Give it! Give it to me!

(grunts softly)

Let it go, I said.

Stop it! Oh!

(grunts, then gasps)

Who's there?

(shuddering): Um, please don't eat me.

D-D...

Don't eat me!

I don't taste good! I don't taste good!

Please, help!

Eat you?

You silly child.

How can I eat you?

(laughs)

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 is the dog?

Where's the dog?

Where is the d...

Oh, I hear him. I hear him.

He's smackin' his lip.

He sure love peanut butter.

Listen at him.

(laughs)

I'm sorry I got on your property.

Hmm.

My name's Opal.

My name is... Gloria. Gloria Dump.

Isn't that a terrible last name?

Dump?

Well, my last name's Buloni.

Sometimes the kids at school, they call me Lunch Meat.

"Lunch Meat."

(chuckling): Oh, my.

Well, I'm pleased to meet you, Lunch Meat.

What you call your friend here?

Oh, that's Winn-Dixie. Winn-Dixie?

You mean like the grocery store?

Now, that takes the strange-name prize, don't it?

Woo-wee!

(laughs)

(whines)

Oh, no. Hmm-mm. This one's mine.

I'm gon' eat this one.

You know, baby girl... these eyes of mine, they don't see too good no more.

You can't see?

Well... you know, I can...

I can see only the general shape of things.

So I rely on my heart.

Why don't you go ahead and tell me everything about yourself, so I can see you with my heart?

Well, the first thing you should know about me is that... my dad's the preacher, which was why we moved to Naomi.

OPAL: 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 talkin', 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.

Somethin' happened to her that made her go away, and I don't know what it was.

Well, then the Dewberry boys...

OPAL: I could feel her listening with all her heart.

And it felt good.

(rain pattering)

(whining)

(thunder rumbling)

(barking and whining)

Winn-Dixie?

(whispering): What's wrong, boy?

Quiet!

You'll wake the preacher.

(thunder rumbling)

Winn-Dixie.

(whispering): Winn-Dixie, come back here!

(whining) (startled yell)

Opal!

Opal!

(thunder cracks, whining)

What's going on with that dog?

(glass shattering) I don't know!

Come on, Winn-Dixie. Come on, come on!

Come...

(yells): Winn-Dixie!

Daddy, I'm sorry.

I don't know what's gotten into him.

It's just thunder. It's okay.

(thunder cracks)

Daddy, what if he hurts himself?

What if he tries to get away?!

Daddy, what's happening?!

Let's get out of the way.

Oh...

Do you know what a pathological fear is?

No, sir.

It is a fear that goes way beyond normal fears.

It's a fear that you can't be talked out of, you can't be reasoned out of.

And I think Winn-Dixie has a pathological fear of thunderstorms.

(thunder cracks)

(sighs)

(whimpering, clattering)

(racing footfalls)

(whining)

We get an awful lot of thunderstorms in the summer.

Well, I'm gonna have to make sure he doesn't get out during a storm.

Might run away.

We'll have to make sure we keep him safe.

Yes, sir.

(chuckles softly)

I've been talkin' 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.

(barks)

You remind me so much of your mama.

Yeah?

Mm-hmm.

But that doesn't count as the first thing, okay?

Okay, all right.

Ten things... and then it's off to bed, all right?

Okay, 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 kinda remember that.

Do ya?

Mm? Good.

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 couldn't ever race her, you know.

I mean, if you did, y-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.

(chuckles)

Six: Your mama loved a good story.

She could sit and listen to anybody tell a story.

She especially liked funny ones, mm-hmm.

'Cause she loved to laugh.

What's number seven?

She knew all the constellations.

Every planet in the nighttime sky.

And she could name 'em, you know?

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 havin' all those ladies at church judgin' 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.

Just... yeah.

Didn't leave one thing behind.

She didn't leave anything?

Nope.

Nothin'.

What's number ten, Daddy?

I think that's enough for now.

But that's only nine things.

It's late.

You'll think of number ten for me, won't you?

Good night, Opal.

(woman laughing)

PREACHER: She could stick a tire in the ground and grow a car.

(engine running)

(laughing)

Burned everything. Even water.

She knew all the constellations.

She hated bein' a preacher's wife.

It made her feel like a bug under a microscope.

(screen door creaking)

OPAL: That night, I went over and over in my head the nine things that 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.

(birds cawing)

Oh...

(singing)


He shouldn't be away from his mom too long when they're this small.

(singing continues)

What kind of tree is this?

It's a wait-and-see tree.

What's that mean?

It means you got to wait till it grows up before you can see what it is.

Tight?

Well?

(singing continues)

(singing ends)

MAN: So you just drifted on into town.

OTIS: I told you everything.

Mornin', Otis.

Well, well, well.

How long you known Mr. Otis, here?

(growls)

Not so long, I guess.

So I reckon you know Gertrude, too?

Yes, I do.

Winn-Dixie!

(barks)

Yet somehow you don't know Miss Gertrude.

Hmm?

Nor why she'd leave her shop in the hands of a drifter.

Look, I told you that we're cousins.

POLICEMAN: You ain't no cousin I know about, there, smiley.

I told you her mama's sick, and I told you she asked me to look after this store.

Well, aren't you a big steamin' pile of pancakes?

OTIS: Don't you have anyone else's day you can ruin?

Why'd you come in here, man?

Just leave me alone. God.

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 fellow in there, do you?

I know he can sing near anything.

Oh, yeah, he can sing, all right, like a bird in a cage.

He tell you he was locked up in jail for a while?

I don't know anything about that.

POLICEMAN: Mm-hmm. The preacher know you're working here?

(growls)

I didn't think so.

You just better watch out.

Hey! Hey! Whoa! Get away from there!

You are in violation of Ordinance 29-02:

The ramming of a horny head into a police-issued vehicle!

(quacking) Ow!

Don't you sass me, you naughty goose!

(shouts) (laughs)

Hey, Elvis! You stupid...

Ow!

Just, oh, get out here and help me!

Get away, you freak!

(barks)

(screaming)

Get away from me, you hairy barnyard freaks!

(groans)

(shouting)

Crazy wild goose on me!

Oh! 10-59!

(siren chirps)

Ah, I went through a stop sign!

There's a goose! Help! (barks)

(giggling)

STEVIE: 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 Preacher... wouldn't like you hanging around... with criminals.

Lay off her, Stevie.

I don't care what you guys say.

(growls) Go pick your lice, you booger-eaters!

Dang, Opal.

GLORIA: Baby girl, how 'bout telling me a story?

OPAL: Once upon a time, I hated the Dewberry boys.

The end.

Oh, stop that nonsense.

I do hate 'em.

They're ignorant. They think you're a witch.

Oh, they're just trying to get your attention.

I'll bet they like you.

(laughs)

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 somethin'.

See this tree?

Yeah. Hmm?

OPAL: Why are all those bottles on it?

GLORIA: To keep the ghosts away.

What ghosts?

Ghosts of all the things I've done wrong.

You did that many things wrong?

(chuckles)

More than that, baby girl.

(chuckles)

But you're not a bad person.

Doesn't mean I haven't done bad things.

But there's whiskey bottles on there, a-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.

Get to start drinkin' and can't get stopped.

Are you one of those people?

Yes, I am... but you know somethin'?

These days, I don't drink nothin' stronger than coffee.

Did the whiskey and beer and wine... did they 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 the beer... till I learned.

Learned what?

Till I learned what was the most important thing.

What's that?

Oh... it's different for everyone.

Got to 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, 'cause that's all we know about him now... right?

Yes, ma'am.

(sighs)

(whispering): All right, then.

(bottles clanking)

Miss Franny, I've got this friend named Gloria Dump...

Mm. ...and she really loves to read, only her eyes are bad, so she can't read anymore.

Ooh. So I was thinkin' maybe I could read her a story.

Mm. Do you have any suggestions?

Of course I have suggestions.

Hmm. 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.

MISS FRANNY: That's right, Opal.

My great-grandfather, Littmus W. Block, fought in that war.

I'm ready for another book.

Well, Amanda, maybe you wouldn't mind waitin'.

I was just telling India Opal a story about my great-grandfather.

I sure would like to hear a story about your great-grandfather.

MISS FRANNY: 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.

MISS FRANNY: Well, "war" is a cuss word, too.

I mean, nei-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.

(grunting)

(whispering): Shoot, I can't see nothin'.

(grunting)

There probably ain't nothin' to see.

Come on, Dunlap.

You got to think like a secret agent.

You got to think like a spy.

He walked back home when the war was over.

I mean, he walked from Virginia all the way to Georgia, but when he got there, his parents, his sisters, everything and everyone was gone.

AMANDA: But, Miss Franny, what about his sisters?

What happened to them? Dead.

Dead from typhoid fever.

And his mama?

Dead, too.

And his father?

(sighs)

He died on the battlefield.

People are dying all over the place.

This guy's whole family's dead!

STEVIE: Come on, I wanna hear.

So, Littmus was an orphan?

Yes. Poor Littmus was all alone in the world.

(whimpers)

(clears throat)

Well... when he finished crying, he... had the s-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.

STEVIE: Let me see.

(gasping)

(grunting)

Quiet! (Stevie groans)

Would you care for a Littmus lozenge?

Yes, Miss... Yes, please.

Thank you.

Now, they're not made anymore.

The world, it seems, lost its appetite for Littmus lozenges.

Fortunately, I had the foresight to save a few.

Do you like it?

OPAL: 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?

(whispers): Sorrow.

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, they-they 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'd 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.

(mutters): 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.

(sniffles)

I only know a few things about her.

And there's something the preacher won't tell me.

(voice breaking): It makes me think of Carson.

(sniffles)

STEVIE: Hey, guys.

Bookworms! Where's your apples?

I have to go. (sighs)

STEVIE: What's with her?

Who's Carson?

Carson was Amanda's brother.

Was?

He drowned last year.

I saw the whole thing.

Come on, Dunlap.

(grunts)

OPAL: 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.

(crunching)

Tastes like music.

(smacks lips)

It reminds me of, uh... being in jail.

Otis, what were you in jail for?

(grunts)

(plucks guitar note)

You don't have to tell me.

I was just wondering.

(strums guitar chord)

I never hurt anybody.

(picking gentle melody)

Never meant to.

But I've been locked up.

And I remember the day very well.

I was sitting in the 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.

(strumming chords)

I put my...

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.

(strumming steadily)

Or not. I just...

Well, music is better if somebody's listening.

Anyway, this...

(steady strumming)

...this policeman came up to me.

He said I was disturbing the peace.

And then he tried to take my guitar away from me.

And I guess I got real angry at him.

(strumming resumes)

But I'm not a bad man.

I'm just...

[music] Not a lucky man [music]

(strumming steadily)

Anyway, they told me that I broke that policeman's nose.

(strumming continues)

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...

(strumming continues)

[Music] Not a lucky man... [music]

But you. When I... when I look at you...

(strumming continues)

[Music] You are like a butterfly [music]

[Music] A caterpillar's dream to fly [music]

[Music] To bust out of this old cocoon [music]

[Music] And dry your wings off [music]

[Music] Butterfly [music]

[Music] Go ahead and fly... [music]

(guitar strumming continues)

OPAL: 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.

Yuck.

That tastes bad.

That tastes like not having a dog.

OPAL: I wondered if my mama... wherever she was... was lonely for me.

Thinking about her was the same as 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.

Ooh, here, here!

(grunting)

BOY: Get back in your spots.

BOY 2: Okay.

STEVIE: Strike one.

What do you think?

Shall we give some to the boys?

(whines)

(sighs)

Yeah, but they haven't been very nice.

They never want to play with us.

Try this one, Dunlap.

(boys shouting)

(barks)

Winn-Dixie!

I got it! I got it!

I got it!

I got it!

Whoa!

There he is! Get him!

(boys shouting)

BOY: Just get him!

Get the ball!

(growling)

Help me! Help me, Dunlap!

BOY: Here comes the sheriff.

What in the name of corn on the cob is goin' on around here?

Have we got a situation here, fellas?

No, sir. They're just all playin'.

(boys laughing)

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Keep away from me!

(barks)

(shouts)

Oh!

Get off of me!

Off! (fabric tearing)

Get off of me, you hairy, heavy-metal hound dog!

Ow! Give me my pants back!

Oh! That's a wedgie!

(shouts)

(screams)

This whole town's gone mad!

(boys laughing)

Look, he has chicken legs!

I suppose you think this is funny?

(laughter)

(shrieks)

Don't look at that!

(laughs): He wasn't trying to hurt you.

He just wanted to give you a candy.

(laughing)

You little sea-monkeys.

But I'm gonna see you in sea-monkey jail.

(engine revving)

I better put it in drive.

(shouts)

(barks)

(sighs)

(song on radio)

(whining)

What's wrong?

You all right?

(whimpering)

(whispering): Oh, Winn-Dixie!

How many did you eat of these?

(belches)

(whispering): Oh! Oh, that's gross!

(belching loudly)

Oh, Winn-Dixie, ew!

PREACHER: Opal, I hope you don't have that dog in your bed.

(song continues)

(song ends)

Daddy?

Opal... it's 2:00 in the morning.

What are you doing up?

Daddy, are you hungry?

You lookin' for somethin' to eat?

Yeah, that's it. I'm hungry.

(sniffles)

(sighs)

Try this.

What's this?

A Littmus lozenge.

Do you like it?

(scoffs)

Candy tastes melancholy.

What's melancholy?

Sad.

It's supposed to taste sad.

Makes me think of your mother.

Do you think about her a lot?

I do, Opal.

Daddy... did she drink?

Opal, there's some things you're just too young to understand.

L-I understand a lot of things.

I know about people with drinkin' problems.

(sighs)

Gloria Dump had a drinking problem.

(whispering): I want to understand.

Yeah, I don't even understand what happened with your mama.

We were happy, I know that, for a long time.

Well, it seemed like a long time, we were happy.

But then she started drinkin'.

She started drinkin'... and that's the tenth thing?

But it's more complicated than that.

Did she drink because I was bad?

Was it my fault that she left?

No. No! No!

It's not your fault.

Don't... don't ever say it's your fault.

(whispering): Don't ever say that.

Do you hear me?

Yes, sir.

OPAL: 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.

(whines)


He was so angry.

Well...

He was hurtin', that's why.

Everybody's hurtin'.

Makes me feel sad.

I want to help 'em, 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 doin', hmm?

I believe she's gettin' 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?

(groans)

We can invite Miss Franny Block...

No, Opal! ...and the preacher and Otis.

Opal, don't go in there!

Come on, we need to start plannin'.

GLORIA: No!

Wow, it's dark in here.

GLORIA: Hold on, now, hon...

Opal?

Opal, wh-where are you?

Do you see?

Don't, don't... That's a lot better.

Close those cur...

(sighs)

Come on. Stop it!

You cannot have any party here!

I haven't had folks in here for years.

Just make sandwiches.

And Otis can bring his guitar.

I said no, and that's the end of it.

(whines)

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, oh...

Gloria, we need this party.

(whines and barks)

(whispering): Please?

Oh, Lord.

(sighs): This child.

Well, if we're gonna have a party... this house needs a big pick up if we gonna have folks over.

Whee! We're having a party!

We're gonna have a party, and don't you forget to invite them Dewberry boys.

(singing)

Thank you, Opal!

Thanks.

You're welcome.

(singing continues)

GLORIA: Fruit.

Oh!

(laughs)

Winn-Dixie!

(growls)

(singing ends)

You're gonna come, right?

Yeah, I-I'll be there.

Should be done with prayer group by then.

We're havin' 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.

MR. ALFRED: Little miss?

He don't howl so much anymore.

He's not so lonely anymore.

Come on.

Mr. Alfred, you're one of the first people here.

Well, there's no sense in dilly-dallying, you know?

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 theme of the party.

Oh! That's great, Sweetie Pie.

Let me show you.

Come on, Winn-Dixie.

Oh, wow, they're beautiful!

AMANDA: Hey, Opal.

Oh, hey, Amanda!

I'm so glad you could come.

Thank you for inviting me.

Oh, thanks for comin'.

Hey, Winn-Dixie. Hold on.

Okay.

Gloria!

Gloria! Gloria.

GLORIA: I'm comin', I'm comin'.

I'm comin', baby girl. Don't rush me.

Please don't rush me. I'm so nervous.

I haven't done this in such a long time.

It's okay. You look beautiful.

Well, thank you for my hair and my fingernails.

And you look pretty, too.

You wearin' that necklace I gave you?

Mm-hmm.

Oh, everything is so beautiful, Opal.

I can see it. I can just see it.

Hi, Gloria.

Who's that?

Oh, Gloria, I'd like you to meet my new friend, Amanda.

Amanda. What a beautiful name.

I'm glad you came. Thank you.

Come on. Me, too.

Come on. And this is Miss Franny Block.

Hello, Gloria. I've heard all about you.

I hope you're enjoying Gone with the Wind.

(gasps): Oh... thank you.

You're welcome. And that's Mr. Alfred.

Miss Gloria, I'm delighted to meet you.

GERTRUDE: Gertrude's a pretty bird.

MR. ALFRED: I had no idea all this was back here.

Hello. Hey, Otis!

Otis. Uh-oh.

Uh-oh, uh-oh.

It's all right. It's just a few people.

Hardly any people at all.

I brought pickles.

Pickles. Have a pickle.

Oh! That's just exactly what we needed.

They'll go perfectly with the egg salad sandwiches.

Oh, Gertrude's a pretty bird!

(squawks)

Oh. (sighs)

Miss Franny, this is Otis.

Oh! Oh!

What happened? What happened?

The-the pickles fell.

It's a pleasure to shake your hand, Otis.

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, wouldn't have been no party without pickles.

Now, I've been to several parties with no pickles.

(chuckles)

A-And not one of 'em was any fun.

Otis, you can put the pickles down right over here.

Thank you, ma'am.

(whispering): Baby girl, what happened with the Dewberry boys?

And where's the preacher?

Uh, I don't know.

Well, I told 'em what time we're startin'.

GERTRUDE: Uh-oh.

Look at that dog and look at that bird!

(laughing) 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.

ALL: Amen.

SWEETIE PIE: Are we fixin' to eat now?

I think we might want to eat inside.

(thunder rumbles)

It's not supposed to rain.

MISS FRANNY: Oh! Oh, my God.

(shouting)

Nobody said rain.

It didn't pred... Get the sandwiches!

Get the punch!

I got the plates!

Somebody get the punch! Get the sandwiches!

Pickle?

(shouting)

Oh, yes, I'm cleaned up real good, now.

Did you get the sandwiches?

Somebody get the sandwiches?

Yeah. They're all wet, Gloria.

And the punch? Yeah.

GERTRUDE: Get the sandwiches?

(squawks)

Uh-oh.

Pickles. Pickles. Pickles.

Comin' down.

Can I talk to you, please? Oh, sure.

GERTRUDE: Uh-oh. Uh-oh.

Opal, you worked real hard. I...

I brought this for you.

I figured you'd earned it.

Oh! Thanks, Otis.

(squawking): Dog! Dog! Dog!

Don't worry. I got them dog pictures.

I got 'em right here.

Winn-Dixie!

Winn-Dixie!

Oh, no!

(gasps): Winn-Dixie!

He's scared of thunder!

Winn... Winn-Dixie.

No, Winn-Dixie, no!

Opal, no, no, no.

No, no! Look, he's probably outside under the chair.

We'll take the flashlight and go look.

No, no!

I forgot to hold onto him! Opal! Opal!

Opal, take the flashlight.

Opal!

Opal! Uh...

Winn-Dixie!

GLORIA: You can't see!

Come back!

Opal! Opa...

Dewberry boys.

You got all wet. Opal!

No, Winn-Dixie!

Opal, your guests are here!

Opa...

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 somethin'!

This is your party, and I want you to tell these boys how glad you are that they came.

Thank you for comin' to my party.

It's just I got to find Winn-Dixie.

You want me to help?

Listen...

Opal... you cannot hold onto anything that wants to go.

Do you understand what I'm sayin'?

You just got to love it while you got it, and that's that.

(panting)

I just got to find him!

Opal, wait till the rain stops!

Opal!

Opal...

Winn-Dixie!

Winn-Dixie!

(grunts)

(pants): 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.

Come on!

We were at the party, and you were supposed to be there!

(panting)

And you weren't, and now he's gone!

Opal.

Op...!

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 'em 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 goin'over and over that list in my head, the same way I did with the list of ten things about my mama.

Winn-Dixie!

I memorized it so if I didn't find him, I'd at least have some part of him to hold onto.

Winn-Dixie!

(sighs)

It's gettin' late, Opal.

You're gettin' tired.

We need to head back.

But, Daddy, he's out there.

We can't leave him.

Well, there's only so much lookin' we can do.

(sighs)

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.

(sighs)

And I bet you didn't even go out lookin' for my mama when she left.

(sighs)

I bet you just let her run off, too.

I couldn't stop her. I tried.

I... No, loo... I tried.

You don't think I wanted her to stay, too?

She was everything to me.

You didn't try. Yes, I did.

She wasn't everything to you.

Yes, she was. Opal, she was everything.

Everything. If... I failed her, all right?

I failed her.

I failed her, Opal. I tried and It...

You didn't try! I tried and I tr...

I know you didn't. I tried.

I did. I tried and I tried and I tried with everything I am.

It's my fault.

Opal... it's all my fault.

I'm sorry.

(whispering): Daddy...

I ju...

And don't... 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.

(sighs)

(whispering): I love you, Daddy.

(sighs)

I love you, too.

Daddy... do you think Mama will ever come back?

No. No, I don't, Opal.

I've hoped and prayed and dreamed about her comin' back.

I don't think it's gonna 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 lookin'.

Opal... do you remember when I told you that your mama took everything with her when she left?

Yes, sir.

Well, there's one very important thing she left behind.

What?

You.

(laughs)

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.

MISS FRANNY: I'm sorry, Opal.

We just drove all over town.

I had a dog once that wandered all over the place.

And?

And... when he got through wanderin'... he came home.

Don't worry, Opal.

He'll come back. He's got to.

Preacher?

PREACHER: Mm-hmm.

You're blessed with this one.

(sighs)


(whispering): Is she prayin'?

DUNLAP: Are you prayin'?

No, I'm not prayin'.

I'm just thinkin'.

What about?

OPAL: A lot of different things.

I-I'm sorry I called you guys bald-headed babies.

You want to come back inside?

I guess so.

(crickets chirping)

I'll race you to the angel by the porch.

DUNLAP: Go!

PREACHER: Otis, you know any hymns?

OTIS: Yeah, I know some.

Yeah?

You hum it, Daddy. I know he can play it.

Oh, all right. Um...

(humming "Glory, Glory')

(singing): [Music] Hallelujah [music]

[Music] Since I lay my burden down [music]

Yeah.

ALL (singing): [Music] Glory, glory [music]

[Music] Hallelujah... [music] (dog howling)

(dog barking)

OPAL: Winn-Dixie!

(whining)

AMANDA: Oh, Winn-Dixie, hi!

SWEETIE PIE: Winn-Dixie, Winn-Dixie!

Where have you been, you dumb dog?

We looked all over, Winn-Dixie!

(indistinct voices)

Winn-Dixie!

Well?

Are we havin' a party, or are we havin' a paaaarrrrrttty?!

We're havin' a party, and the theme is this dog.

GLORIA: All right!

MISS FRANNY: It is lovely.

It is beautiful.

(singing): [Music] I feel better... [music]

GLORIA: Good, feel better.

ALL (singing): [Music] So much better [music]

[Music] Since I lay my burden down [music]

[Music] I feel better [music]

[Music] So much better [music]

[Music] Since I lay my burden down [music]

[Music] Feel like shouting... [music]

Feel like shoutin'!

[Music] "Hallelujah!" [music] (howls)

[Music] Since I lay my burden down [music]

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! [Music] Feel like shouting [music]

ALL: [Music] "Hallelujah!" [music]

[Music] Since I lay my burden down [music]

I am climbing Jacob's ladder...

ALL: [Music] I am climbing [music]

OTIS: [Music] I am climbing [music]

ALL: [Music]Jacob's Ladder [music]

[Music] Since I lay my burden down [music]

[Music] I am climbing Jacob's ladder [music]

[Music] Since I lay my burden down [music]

[Music] Every round goes... [music]

GLORIA: Higher, higher!

ALL: [Music] Higher, higher [music]

[Music] Since I lay my burden down... [music]

OPAL: My heart doesn't feel so empty anymore.

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.

ALL: [Music] Since I lay my burden down. [music]

Glory! Hallelujah!

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

All right!

(percussive music plays)

CHOIR: (singing)


(singing ends)

(slow pop song playing)


(vocalizing)

(vocalizing)


(singing continues)


(singing ends)