Study Guide

Dandelion Wine Chapter 20

By Ray Bradbury

Chapter 20

  • The trolley comes through Green Town one morning, a familiar sound. But at noon, when Doug and Charlie are outside playing, the conductor Mr. Tridden comes by and offers them an unusual free ride.
  • When he refuses to take their money, they know something's up. And indeed it is: This is the last day before the trolley gets replaced by a newfangled bus. 
  • Doug, of course, is always there when you need a guy to bemoan a loss. First the Green Machine goes into the garage for good, then he notices the wear on his new sneakers, and now this? It's not a good day for our pal Doug. 
  • Mr. Tridden takes the boys to Chessman's Park and surprises them with a picnic lunch, because there was a time when adults could do that and parents didn't think it was creepy. 
  • He points out the bandstand in the park, now decayed with age, and tells them about the grand concerts that used to take place there. 
  • Then he pours salt in the wound: Green Town's getting school buses, which will pick the boys up out at their front doors come fall. 
  • Doug bums on the fact that they can never be late for school again with that setup. 
  • Mr. Tridden takes them home that night, and Charlie, in an attempt to lighten the mood, asks Doug if he wants to play kick-the-can after dinner. 
  • "Sure," says Doug. "Kick-the-can." But he doesn't seem too happy about it.

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