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Where the Red Fern Grows

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.