Where the Red Fern Grows
by Wilson Rawls
Where the Red Fern Grows Chapter 11 Summary
- But Old Dan isn't the only one getting into hilarious scrapes.
- Like this one time, a blizzard keeps Billy from hunting for four whole days.
- What do you think he does the second it stops? Yes. He goes right out hunting.
- Now, Billy is a smart kid, but this is certainly not one of his best ideas—even though he promises his mom that he won't go far.
- He slips and slides all through the woods on the ice, snow, and slush. It would be hilarious if it weren't so cold and wet.
- Eventually Old Dan hits on a coon trail and the hunt is on. All of a sudden, things get quiet, like eerily quiet. You know when you can sense something is wrong? That's how Billy feels.
- And boy is he right.
- Little Ann has a little accident while trying to cross the frozen river.
- And by "little accident," we mean the ice broke and she fell in. She's currently hanging on by her claws, with her head just above the water.
- To make things worse, Old Dan has left the chase to come back and try to help her.
- It's the only time stubborn Old Dan has ever given up on a hunt.
- That, Shmoopers, is true love.
- Billy tries to reach out to her, but the ice breaks under his weight. He falls onto the shore of the river.
- Things are starting to get dire, and Billy thinks he is going to watch as his little dog drown in front of him.
- He drops to his knees and prays for help. (Have you noticed yet how often this happens?)
- All of a sudden, he hears a metallic sound. He thinks it's a boat, but it turns out it's just the sound of the handle clanking on his lantern. For a moment things look hopeless.
- Billy has a flash of brilliance. He unhooks the handle from the lantern and attaches it to the longest stick he can find. Then he strips down, wades out into the icy water and essentially goes fishing for Little Ann with the lantern handle as a hook.
- Just as she starts to slip under, Billy hooks her collar and pulls her out. Crisis averted!
- He starts a fire to warm them both up, and massages all her limbs till she is able to stand on her own.
- When he gets home he decides not to tell his parents about his little adventure, since they might start to think this hunting thing is dangerous or something.
- Later, he asks his mom if God always answers prayers. She tells him only if the prayer is said from the heart. Then she gives him a kiss, but he squirms away.
- After all, what self-respecting coon hunter allows himself to be kissed by his mommy?
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