I just finished re-reading the classic book Where the Red Fern Grows. This book takes place in Northern Oklahoma during the great depression, and tells the story of 12-year-old Billy Coleman who loves coonhounds and coon hunting. He lives with his father, mother, and two sisters and has a “disease” of dog-wanting which has been plaguing him ever since he was ten years old and heard the bawl of a coon hound for the first time. He asks his father for a dog, but the family doesn’t have the money, so for two years Billy works and saves his money, and is finally able to save $75.00 to buy two coon hounds.
Billy and his grandfather begin training the hounds, Old Dan and Little Anne, and after a while his hounds become the best hunters in the river bottoms. Billy is invited by two neighbors to hunt the “ghost coon,” but after his dogs tree the coon, one of the neighbors, Ruben, gets in a fight with Billy over who gets to kill the coon, and Old Dan and Little Anne get in a fight with Ruben’s dog. Ruben runs at them with an axe, but an accident happens, and he kills something else.
Billy and his coon dogs have many more adventures, until finally they come up against a mountain lion, but I can’t tell you what happens then.
This book is important to me because I love hunting and the outdoors like Billy does. I have also had a relationship with a dog that was important to me. I wish I could go back to the time in which this book takes place, because it was so simple and peaceful.
I’m really glad I read this novel again, because it reminds me why it’s my all-time favorite book. It’s a five star book like To Kill a Mockingbird, and I encourage you all to either read or re-read it.