The Art of Racing in the Rain

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The Art of Racing in the Rain Chapter 13 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Crows are sinister bastards, according to Enzo. Since they're the smaller cousin of the raven, they're resentful of being genetically dwarfed. Enzo says it's said that the raven is the next step on the evolutionary ladder from man, since according to Northwest Coast Indians, ravens created man. Enzo notes too that the corresponding deity in Plains Indian folklore is the coyote, a dog. Enzo says the crow, rather than fitting in at the top of the ladder with humans and ravens, fits in the garbage. In a group, they're called a “murder” because when they're together, you want to kill them. When Enzo has nightmares, he dreams of the crows attacking him ruthlessly.
The crows are a spiritual antagonist for Enzo. They haunt his dreams and are never pleasant in real life. Note that Enzo again has created a hierarchy, and in this case a relative of dogs is above humans. Enzo occasionally seems to be of the mind that dogs are above humans in certain ways, which here ties in with his interest in Native American folklore that presents this idea as fact and religion.
Themes
 What It Means to Be Human  Theme Icon
 Language and Storytelling  Theme Icon
 Destiny and Spirituality  Theme Icon
Not long after they moved into their house, Enzo had a crow experience that made them hate him. Denny always picks up Enzo's excrement in little bags and leaves the smaller bags in a grocery bag on the porch. The crows generally love going after bags of groceries and often try to steal items when Denny and Eve make multiple trips and leave bags on the porch. On this occasion, Eve brought home groceries as the crows watched from a nearby tree. The crows noticed she left a bag on the porch. Being smart, the crows waited until Eve was in the bath with the door safely locked, and Enzo inside. They swooped in and dragged the bag into the yard, gleefully taunting Enzo with their find. But when they dove into the bag, they came out with mouthfuls of dog poop.
Enzo describes the crows as tricky and malicious. However, in Native folklore, it's the ravens and coyotes that often feature as the "trickster" character, and here we see Enzo getting to play that part in this experience with the crows. This further situates him, as a dog, as being far above crows in the animal hierarchy, underscoring his original idea that crows belong in the garbage.
Themes
 Language and Storytelling  Theme Icon
The crows flew away to wash themselves in a neighbor's fountain and then returned, angry, and sat on the lawn staring at Enzo, taunting him to come out. Enzo didn't and the crows left. When Denny got home from work he questioned the mess on the deck, and Enzo says that if he'd had a Stephen Hawking computer, he would've made a good joke. Denny washed the deck and picked up the poop bags as the crows returned to watch from the telephone wires. When Denny wanted to play fetch, Enzo pretended to be sick so he didn't have to go outside with the crows. Enzo says it was a good laugh, but his nightmares since then always include a murder of crows.
Despite the fact that Enzo undeniably won this battle with the crows, he doesn't come away unscathed. Rather, the crows continue to torment him in his dreams. Enzo will regularly discuss his dreams going forward and his dreams can often be interpreted in terms of him "manifesting" their contents, so this mention of the crows in his dreams creates a sense of foreboding.
Themes
 Language and Storytelling  Theme Icon
 Illness and Death  Theme Icon
 Destiny and Spirituality  Theme Icon