Where the Red Fern Grows

By: Ainsley


When I was a kid I had a mama, papa, and three sisters that all had blue eyes and blonde hair. My sisters and I have grown up in the beautiful Ozark mountains. One day I got a disease but, it was a good type it was....a dog wanting disease. I begged and begged mama and papa for two dogs but, I kept getting the same answer, NO!!! I didn't want just any type of dog I wanted coon dogs and two of them. As the days went by the dog wanting disease got worse!




The great depression takes a toll on the Ozark mountians

-The great depression is a severe worldwide economic depression that is taking place in the 1930s

-People lost their jobs and have to depend on what they grow in their gardens and farms

-Stock market crashed on October 29, 1929

-In 1933 the great depression reached its worst point, around 13 to 15 million Americans were unemployed and almost half of the country's banks failed

In the city

One day I was walking home from work and I saw a dog fight. I also saw a redbone hound dog that looked tired and worn out. The only way I could break the fight up was to fling my coat toward the other dogs and they would all scattered. I took the tired redbone home and fed him all the meat I had until he would eat no more. I gave it some water and when he was finished I wondered why he was out here

- Billy


Before the dogs

One night Billy heard a coon dog and a hunter and realized how much he wanted to hunt and wanted a coon dog. One day when he had to stay inside because of the weather, he was waiting for his father to get home. Once he got home he saw that his father was carrying 3 things, and those things were traps. He kept catching the house cat ,Sammie, with the traps, and one day he got a whooping for catching mama's prize winning hen.

Making a plan

One day he saw that the fishermen that stayed around our river to fish sometimes, left stuff behind. That day he found a newspaper lying behind a log and he looked through it. On the back he found an ad for puppies, there were two redbone hounds and to get them both he would have to save $50. So he made a plan to sell berries, fish and the furs that he caught in his 3 traps.

Getting my pups

After 2 years of saving money he went to his grandpa's store and showed grandpa the newspaper and then he said that he has been saving money for over 2 whole years and said he wanted grandpa to order the dogs and grandpa said to keep it a secret for now. One of the days I had went to check with grandpa and he said that the price had gone down 10 dollars.

Running away

Billy decided to run away because he couldn't wait till grandpa's friend came to take him to Tahlequah. When he realized that it was getting dark he remembered that he forgot a can to cook in so he made a fire and found a can and cleaned it out in the river. The next morning he made it to Tahlequah and went to the depot, and got his pups.

A fight

On my way back home a school kid pulled my little puppies ear, Billy was so very mad and that the school kid started a fight with me, so he sat down his puppies in a shady area and the school kids started to attack. At first it was just one but then all of them started. The sheriff asked if Billy was ok and then he got out a strawberry soda bottle and a piece of stick candy and gave it to me.

In a cave

Billy told the sheriff that he better be heading on home and started on his way with his dogs. It had started getting dark and told his dogs that they better get ready to spend the night somewhere and so they found a cave and Billy made a fire. In the middle of the night Billy was awoken by something that sounded like a women's horror scream and realized that he had heard was a mountain lion.

Telling the truth

In the morning I started back home and found Ann and Dan in some tree bark and decided to name his dogs Little Ann and Old Dan. When Billy got there it was almost dark and mom and dad were so glad to see him. Then he gave his family their gifts.

Training my dogs

Billy knew that he needed to make collars for both of them, he needed to build a doghouse for them, and also had to train his dogs. Then he found out that he was old enough to help out with the fields. He finally caught a coon and trained his dogs

First coon hunt

Hunting season begins and Billy made a promise to his dogs and said that if they treed a coon then he would do the rest. Later that evening my coons treed a coon in a large sycamore tree and it was the largest of them all. So since he made that promise to my dogs I started chopping and finally got the tree down. Mom made a coon hat out of it and regretted it because then Billy went coon crazy.

Second coon hunt

When Billy went to his grandpa's store one day he over heard some other hunters tease about Little Ann. Then we went on our next hunt and he couldn't figure out that Dan had been treed with the raccoon.


Billy couldn't go out and hunt for a few days because of bad weather. When it had finnaly cleared up some his mother said he could go hunt that night. He could tell that his dog we're very close to the coon and them he heard Old Dan whine like never before and then he saw it, Little Ann had not been able to jump the opening that was between the coon and where his pups were. When he saw little Ann he prayed to God to save the life of his little pup because she was nearly hanging onto the ice block beside her, and I had to save her and he did


There were two boys and their names were Rubin and Raine Pritchard and they bet that Billy couldn't tree a coon that they say can just climb up a tree and just dissappear and asked for 2 bucks and grandpa said that they keep their money to themselves and Billy will keep his. Then Billy's dogs tree it and Billy realizes that he doesn't want to kill the ghost coon. Then Rubin P. trips over the ax and kills himself. Then Blue the Pritchard's dog got loose and all three dogs got a fight.

Coon Competition

Grandpa shows Billy the coon hunt in the newspaper one day and asked if he could enter Old Dan and Little Ann in it. Billy said that he would think about it, and the next day said yes. Billy's grandpa asked Billy if he would see if his dad would go with them and he said yes. When they got there Billy has coffee for the first time while listening to other hunters and dogs hunt.

Billy gets to hunt

Billy started to go and his dogs went to the coons and treed three in the same tree. While Billy's dogs try to tree the coon the coon gets in the water and they have a fight, then once they get the coon Little Ann licks Old Dans wounds and Old Dan does the same for her.


There is a big blizzard and grandpa gets hurt and has a sprain ankle. Billy helps his father and the judge build a big fire to keep grandpa warm and then he goes to find his dogs. One coon escapes and the dogs go after it.


Grandpa has to go to the hospital and, grandpa says he will not leave till Billy gets the golden cup because he won it fair and square and Billy did win it.

Coming back home

Coming home Billy gives the $300 to mama and that night she goes out to the dogs and gives them some meat and sat down and prayed. When mama and papa came back in side they talk about Billy some.

Final hunt

On the last hunt Billy and his dogs are chasing something big and then they see it is a mt. lion and started to attack and Little Ann and Old Dan fight for the life of a boy named Billy. The next day Old Dan died, then Billy couldn't find Little Ann and found her dead on Old Dan's grave and Billy buries them together.


Billy still hurts from the death of her dogs and then found out that his family was moving to town. Billy asked his dad if he can go and say bye to his dog and finds a sacred red fern in between the two graves and Billy had no more hurt inside.