Where The Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

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Where The Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

There was this boy named Billy who lives on a farm. He wants two good hunting dogs, very badly, but his Pap cannot afford any for him. Billy decides that he has to work hard, selling fruit and bait to fishermen, so eventually he has enough money for the dogs. He gives the money to his grandfather, who orders the dogs for him. Billy sneaks off in the middle of the night to go to town and pick them up. While in town, other children pick on him, but he stands up for himself and is helped by the local sheriff. On his way home, he and his two pups decide to sleep in a cave. Outside, they hear a mountain lion, and the pups bravely howl back. He decides to name them Old Dan and Little Ann. He can see that Old Dan is very brave but not to smart, and that Little Ann is very smart but not the bravest.

Once home, he wants to begin training them. He has to have a raccoon hide to train them with. His grandfather shows him a way to set a trap that will catch any alright sized animal. Just when he is about to give up on the traps, he catches a raccoon. The next day he begins to train Old Dan and Little Ann happily. By the time raccoon season starts in the fall, they are ready. On the first night, his dogs chase a raccoon up into the biggest tree imaginable. Billy immediately sees that it will take days to cut down, but he is determined to cut it down, because he told his dogs that if they chase and corner a raccoon he would take care of the rest. His dogs are counting on him so he can’t let them down. His parents bring him food. His grandfather then shows him how to make a scarecrow; so that the raccoon in the tree will stay there and then he comes home with dinner.

Billy goes raccoon hunting almost every night after that. His father relieves him of his chores, and Billy gives him the money from the raccoon skins he sells. Sometimes, raccoons try to trick his dogs, and Old Dan gets into trouble but he is a tough dog. One night, Dan gets stuck in a muskrat hole.

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