Study Guide

Dandelion Wine Chapter 3

By Ray Bradbury

Chapter 3

  • Doug and Tom are with Grandfather Spaulding at the boarding house, picking the dandelions out of the yard. That's right, Shmoopers, here's where we learn what the title means. 
  • They're really into this, because Grandfather Spaulding is pretty sure there are a couple thousand dandelions out there, and he's paying a dime a bag, which would be about a buck-fifty in today's money. 
  • Grandfather Spaulding calls the dandelions "a pride of lions in the yard" and says that they "burn a hole in your retina." We see where Doug gets his hyperbolic tendencies from. 
  • Once the dandelions are picked, the boys and the old man carry them down into the wine press in the cellar. Doug brings rainwater from a barrel next to the house to mix with the dandelion juice. He talks about how the mixture will be "crocked, skimmed of ferment, and bottled in clean ketchup shakers."
  • Basically, this means Grandfather Spaulding will turn them into wine and leave the bottles in the cellar until winter, although this is as much detail as Bradbury ever gives about the actual wine-making process. 
  • In the winter, Grandma Spaulding will take dandelion wine to victims of "the stealthy microbe," or boarders in the house who get sick. 
  • She may even sneak down to the cellar to take a nip herself. 
  • Doug imagines that as she stands in the cellar with the bottles, tasting that drink that is everything summer is made of, she repeats the words, "Dandelion wine. Dandelion wine. Dandelion wine."

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