Where the Red Fern Grows
How we cite our quotes:
I remembered a passage from the Bible my mother had read to us: "God helps those who help themselves." […] I asked God to help me get two hound pups. It wasn't much of a prayer, but it did come right from the heart. (3.8)
Billy finally realizes he's been asking the wrong person for help. His parents can't help him, so he has to turn to God. But is it God who helps Billy—or is it Billy himself? Does finally turning to God help Billy figure out what to do?
With a smile on her face, she asked, "Do you believe God heard your prayer and helped you?"
"Yes, Mama," I said. "I know He did and I'll always be thankful." (6.79-80)
We already know Billy is a hard worker, and that he's incredibly loyal. Now, we learn that he's also thankful for everything he gets. Wow, it's almost as though he's telling this story about himself!
Kneeling down between my dogs, I cried and prayed. "Please God, give me the strength to finish the job. I don't want to leave the big tree like that. Please help me finish the job." (9.120)
Billy's faith in God here seems tied up with a bit of the old nature worship, since he doesn't want the tree to have died in vain.