© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Walk Two Moons

Walk Two Moons

by Sharon Creech

Walk Two Moons Chapter 11 Summary

Flinching

  • The next day, Sal, Gram, and Gramps drive through the lower rim of Minnesota. It's beautiful, with lots of trees that make the air smell like pine. Now that they're driving again, it's time for more Phoebe.
  • The Saturday after she and Phoebe meet the "lunatic," Mary Lou Finney invites them over to her house again. As they are leaving Phoebe's house, they discover yet another message on the Winterbottom doorstep. This one says, "everyone has his own agenda" (11.6).
  • At the Finneys' house, Phoebe, Sal, and Mary Lou try to figure out what these messages mean and who they are for, but of course, no one really knows.
  • Sal tells them that she has heard her dad say, "don't judge a man until you've walked two moons in his moccasins" before. She tells them that it means, "don't judge a person until you've walked in their shoes."
  • Then, our resident cartoonist, Ben, draws a picture of two moccasins with moons in them. Sal's shocked – that's exactly what she used to picture when she heard this phrase.
  • They all go to the drugstore with Mary Lou's two brothers (Tommy and Dougie) and Ben. Tommy and Dougie are full of energy.
  • The whole time they're at the store, Ben walks behind Sal, smiling. At one point, Sal loses her balance, and Ben catches her on her waist. He keeps holding on to her, even after it's pretty clear she's not going to fall. Smooth moves, Ben.
  • Sal smells the grapefruit smell of his hair again, and tells him to "let go." She doesn't know what to make of this situation. Boys are so confusing.
  • Uh oh: Sal and Phoebe see the "lunatic" buying things at the register. He is looking at them, but by the time they tell Mary Lou and Ben to check him out, he's gone.
  • Just to be safe, Ben decides to walk Phoebe and Sal back home to Phoebe's house. Along the way, he asks Sal why she flinches every time someone tries to touch her.
  • Sal flatly denies that she does this. So Ben touches Sal's arm, and she manages to catch herself before she gives him the satisfaction of flinching.
  • Ben keeps his hand on Sal's arm, and Sal feels tingly in her spine. (Aw!)
  • Then he asks her where her mom is. He's quite nosy, this Ben character. Sal tells him she's in Lewiston, Idaho, and then she realizes that she doesn't know where Ben's mom is either.
  • Ben touches Sal's arm again, and, this time, she flinches. Gotcha. Then Ben touches Phoebe's arm, and Phoebe totally flinches, too.
  • This is not a good sign, guys. Is Sal becoming like Phoebe and the whole Winterbottom family? She doesn't want to be stiff and cold like them. Her family used to be a hugging family. They loved each other a lot, only now, something has changed.
  • When they're almost home, Phoebe, Sal, and Ben see Mrs. Cadaver unloading things from her car. Ben is friendly and offers to help her, but Phoebe tries to warn him not to. Ben disappears inside Mrs. Cadaver's house. Uh oh.
  • Back at the Winterbottoms', Phoebe shows her mom the newest message that she found on their doorstep, and Mrs. Winterbottom starts to flip out a little.
  • When Sal gets home, she asks her dad what it means if someone flinches when someone else tries to touch him or her.
  • He doesn't respond, but he looks like he's been crying, and he wraps Sal up in his arms.
  • This time, she totally doesn't flinch.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement