From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Where the Red Fern Grows
by Wilson Rawls
Billy Colman Timeline and Summary
We first meet Billy as a bona fide grown-up. He sees a dogfight, which reminds him of a pair of dogs he used to know, way back when… Bam! Billy is now 10 years old and really, really wants a pair of hunting hounds. And we mean really badly. After a whole lot of work, and saving for two years, he finally has enough to buy his dogs—from an ad in the back of a magazine. Like you do. Okay, get ready for some hunting, because there's about to be a lot of it. Seriously. Like, more hunting than you can imagine. Billy hunts with the dogs for several months and many more chapters. The hunting goes so well that our intrepid hero starts to get a little reputation for himself. The dynamic duo of Old Dan and Little Ann win a championship hunting competition. They are rewarded with some corned beef, while Billy gets $300 cash. Sure, seems fair. Two weeks later, a mountain lion attacks the duo (or trio). In an epic and horrifying battle, Old Dan dies protecting Billy. Little Ann dies a few days later from a broken heart. Everyone is beyond sad. Billy's parents decide now would be a great time to move the family to town and leave the farm. On his last day at the farm, Billy visits his dogs' graves and sees a sacred red fern growing between them. His faith is restored and he's finally ready to grow up.