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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Art of Racing in the Rain: The Dancing Zebra


Not all is bright and sunny in The Art of Racing in the Rain, our All Fairfax Reads selection. “That which you manifest is before you,” becomes a mantra for the dog Enzo and his owner, Denny, as they maneuver through life. But a dancing zebra comes to symbolize the one obstacle that can derail them – fear.

Early in The Art of Racing in the Rain, Enzo is abandoned in his home for several days when Denny’s wife becomes too ill to care for him. About 40 hours into his ordeal – after little food -- he finds himself in Zoe’s room among her stuffed animals and begins to hallucinate.

“. . . and I heard a sound coming from the bedroom. When I investigated I saw something terrible and frightening. One of her stuffed animal toys was moving around on its own. It was the zebra. …”

Enzo believes he watches the zebra attack Zoe’s other toys and then pull the stuffing out of itself. But, when Denny returns home, he blames Enzo for the wreckage. And so for Enzo, the aggressive stuffed toy becomes that tickle of fear that can rear its ugly head at any time.

“Somewhere, the zebra is dancing” Enzo reminds himself whenever doubts begin to overwhelm him.

NEXT: George Clooney’s Eyes

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