Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
Children’s Fiction, Published 1961
Read Oct 2009
Recommended for anyone who loves dogs.
From the cover:
A loving threesome, they ranged the dark hills and river bottoms of Cherokee country. Old Dan had the brawn, Little Ann had the brains – and Billy had the will to train them to be the finest hunting team in the valley. Glory and victory were coming to them, but sadness waited too. And close by was the strange and wonderful power that’s only found…Where the Red Fern Grows. An exciting tale of love and adventure you’ll never forget.
My Mom told me that my Grandmother said if you wanted to know about her childhood, read this book…so I did… My Grandmother grew up in the early 1920s in the Ozarks of Arkansas. She said Billy reminded her of her brothers. I really loved this book and it reminds me a lot of Old Yeller and The Incredible Journey. Billy’s family cannot afford to buy him what his 10-year-old heart desires, two red hounds. So remembering his father told him to work for what he wanted, he sets out and works hard for 2 years to buy his own red hounds. Little did Billy know these two dogs would forever change him.
It’s strange indeed how memories can lie dormant in a man’s mind for so many years. Yet those memories can be awakened and brought forth fresh and new, just by something you’ve seen, or something you’ve heard, or the sight of an old familiar face. -Ch 1
Lying back in the soft hay, I folded my hands behind my head, closed my eyes, and let my mind wander back over the two long years. I thought of the fishermen, the blackberry patches, and the huckleberry hills. I thought of the prayer I had said when I asked God to help me get two hound pups. I knew He had surely helped, for He had given me the heart, courage, and determination. -Ch 3
Although they couldn’t talk in my terms, they had a language of their own that was easy to understand. Sometimes I would see the answer in their eyes, and again it would be in the friendly wagging of their tails. Other times I could hear the answer in a low whine or feel it in the soft caress of a warm flicking tongue. In some way, they would always answer. -Ch 7
Regardless of all the discouraging talk, the love and belief I had in my little red hounds never faltered. I could see them now and then, leaping over old logs, tearing through the underbrush, sniffing and searching for the lost trail.My heart swelled with pride. I whooped, urging them on. -Ch 16
I’m sure the red fern has grown and has completely covered the two little mounds. I know it is still there, hiding its secret beneath those long, red leaves, but it wouldn’t be hidden from me for part of my life is buried there too. Yes, I know it is still there, for in my heart I believe the legend of the sacred red fern. -Ch 20