Where the red ferns grow Essay

This essay has a total of 1850 words and 6 pages.

where the red ferns grow

where the red fern grows
By: amber

Billy is coming home from work one day when suddenly he hears some dogs up the street
fighting. He goes to check it out and finds them picking on a redbone hound. He saves the
dog and cares for it through the night. It reminds him of his childhood. When Billy was
ten years old he lived on a farm in the Ozark Mountains of northeastern Oklahoma. He
wanted two good coonhounds very badly, he called it “puppy love”, but his papa
could not afford to buy him the dogs. For many months, Billy tries to content himself with
some rodent traps his papa gives him, but he still wants a dog. Then one day he finds a
sportsman’s catalog in an abandoned campsite. In it he sees an ad for good hounds,
at $25 each. He decides he wants to save $50 and order himself two hounds. Billy works
hard, selling fruit and bait to fishermen, and gathering fruit that he sells to his
grandfather at his store. Finally, he saves enough money and gives it to his grandfather
to order the dogs for him and asks him to keep it s secret. When a notice comes that they
have arrived at the mail depot in the nearby town of Tahlequah, they decide to go into
town the next week. That night Billy decides he can not wait any longer. He packs himself
a little food, and heads of for town following the river through the woods. He walks all
night, and finally reaches town in the morning. The people in town laugh and stare at the
young hillbilly, but it does not bother Billy he is there on a mission to get his dogs. He
finally collects his dogs and walks back out of town with their small heads sticking out
of his bag. Some schoolchildren mob around him and knock him down, but the town sheriff
rescues him. The sheriff is impressed with Billy’s determination, and says he has
grit. That, night Billy camped in a cave with his two puppies. They wake up in the middle
of the night to hear the call of a mountain lion. Billy builds a fire to keep them safe,
while the bigger of the two dogs, the male, barks into the night air. The next morning he
stops at the campsite where he found the catalog. There he sees the names
“Dan” and “Ann” carved into a tree. He decides to name the dogs
Old Dan and Little Ann. Billy was nervous about going home. He was afraid his parents
would be worried and angry with him for leaving unexpectedly. They were not mad though
they were actually proud. His grandfather had told them everything and they understood.
Once Billy was home he wanted to start training his dogs. He needed a raccoon hide and
went to his grandfather for help. His grandfather shows him how to make a trap that will
lure a coon, and after many tries he finally catches one. His father helps him kill it
after he caught it. Using the hide, Billy trained his hounds. He drags the coon over a
certain path, and then the hounds have to track the hide by smelling its scent. By the
time raccoon season starts in the fall they are ready. On the first night of hunting his
dog’s tree a coon in a tree that Billy said was the “big tree” of the
bottoms and he had always admired it, so he decides not to cut it down. When the dogs see
his intent they pout. He then remembers that he had promised his dogs that if they could
tree a coon he would do the rest. Billy then becomes determined to cut down the gigantic
tree. His father finds him in the morning and brings him food. Later that evening his
grandfather shows him how to make a scarecrow, to keep the coon in the tree so he can go
home and eat dinner. The next morning he finds that Old Dan and Little Ann have taken
turns guarding the tree all night and he is very proud of them. He works all day until he
gets blisters and thinks he is going to have to give up. However, the wind pushed the tree
down for him and his dogs kill the coon and they all proudly head for home. When he gets
home he tells his papa that he prayed and does he think the wind pushing down the tree was
God answering his prayer. Billy goes hunting almost every night and his dogs get smarter
and smarter. His grandfather tells him that coonskin prices are up because there is a fad
for coonskin coats in the New England states. Billy starts hunting even more and then
sells the skins to his grandfather’s store and gives the money to his papa who is
doing Billy’s chores for him while he hunts. Sometimes the coons would try to trick
the dogs and Old Dan would end up in trouble. Once he was in a muskrat hole and Billy had
to get him out and another time he got stuck in a tree trunk. Little Ann got into her own
trouble too. One night after the first snow of the year had arrived Little Ann fell
through ice. Billy sees her barely hanging on to the side of some ice and thinks it is
hopeless and sits down and prays for a miracle. His lantern falls and makes a noise and
that is when he realizes that he can bend the handle and fish her out of the water. When
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