Where the Red Fern Grows
How we cite our quotes:
By this time, my fighting blood was boiling. It's hard for a man to stand and watch an old hound fight against such odds, especially if that man has memories in his heart like I had in mine. (1.8)
Oooh, it sounds like there's a story here—and we bet it has something to do with dogs. This early incidents preps us to hear a good tale about love, loyalty, and—yep—dogs.
I figured the lion had scented my pups. The more I thought about anything harming them, the madder I got. I was ready to die for my dogs. (5.121)
Maybe Billy shouldn't be so quick to dismiss his mom, because this feeling that he's describing sounds a lot like a mom being ready to fight to protect her children.
"I made a bargain with my dogs. I told them that if they would put one in a tree, I'd do the rest. Well, they fulfilled their part of the bargain. Now it's up to me to do my part, and I'm going to, Papa. I'm going to cut it down. I don't care if it takes me a year." (8.121)
Okay, fine, Billy is loyal and determined. But we have to ask—the dogs can't really understand what he's saying, so isn't this more about fulfilling his bargain with himself?