Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

Published 10 May 2017

According to myths and legends, red fern grows only when planted by an angel from heaven. This plant is very rare that no ordinary person can cultivate this kind of plant. The story about the red fern was included in the novel written for children. The book entails the story of a little boy who had exhibited a lot of inspiring accounts throughout the whole story. It is also an exemplary story about true friendship and love for each other, the little boy to his two loyal dogs. It also illustrates lessons about family and perseverance to one’s goal in life in the midst of crisis.The story began when a person named Billy, on his way home after his work, rescued a redbone dog that was being attacked by the other dogs in the street. After this, he remembered the time when he had dogs that looked like the animal he rescued in the street. He reminisce how he loved the dogs that were with him during his childhood.

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He remembered when his family still lived in a farm somewhere in Oklahoma. He also remembered how he meant to have two hound dogs that he showed his perseverance and determination to get what he wanted. Billy, for his young age did a lot of sacrifices just to have the money to buy two hound dogs. For two years, he worked to save the money he needed to buy the dogs he was longing for. When his grandfather knew that it was through his hard efforts just to buy these dogs, he supported Billy in his endeavor by volunteering to order the dogs to the pet store. However, it took a while before the dogs can be delivered into their residence. Billy did not want to wait anymore and he went to the store where the dogs are purchased and he picked the dogs and brought it home. He even got savings for his purchase of the dogs and decided to give it to his family.

The relationship between Billy and his dogs started when the other kids pulled his sack where the puppy is inside and Billy defended his dogs from them. The next scenario is when Billy with his dogs decided to sleep inside a cave. Suddenly, a lion came out and his puppies scared the lion by barking fearlessly. He then named his dogs as Dan and Little Ann, the names carved in a tree that he saw at a fisherman’s camp. He trained his dogs and had them prepared for the raccoon hunting contest. His grandfather helped him to learn how to catch raccoons with his dogs. His family was very supportive of him in his desire to hunt raccoons. His parents brought him food and gave him inspiration to pursue his endeavors. There was an instance that Billy and his dogs chased a raccoon and he had a hard time cutting down the tree but eventually fell into the ground when a strong wind hit hard the tree. Billy thought he has his prayers answered. He continued his hunting and he gave all the money he earned to his family. Billy even won a contest in raccoon hunting with his hound dogs and his grandfather.

However, the sad part of the story came when Billy with his dogs encountered a wild lion in the forest. His dogs fought hard to protect him but were wounded badly. Billy helped his dogs defeat the lion. After the incident he found Dan to be badly injured. He tried to recuperate his wounds but Dan died after a couple of days. Little Ann felt very lonely upon the death of Dan. Little Ann died also a few days after Dan’s death. Billy then was so lonely and sad for what happened to his dogs. His family consoled him and told him that he can now go to school and they will be transferring their residence to other towns. His father told him that all of these became possible because of all the money they received from him in selling for raccoon skins. Billy was happy to hear that good news. Before his family departs their home, Billy visited the place where his dogs were buried. He noticed a red fern growing in the ground and he remembered an old legend that red ferns can only be cultivated by an angel from above. With this in mind, Billy thought that his dogs is a blessing from God that helped his family to support with their needs.


  • Rawls, W. (1961). “Where the Red Fern Grows” Yearling. September 1996. ISBN 9780440412670
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