Study Guide

Where the Red Fern Grows Chapter 14

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Chapter 14

  • A few more days pass and grandpa asks Billy to come on down to the store. Billy is worried that his grandpa is going to want to talk about Rubin's death.
  • Sure enough, it's the first thing his grandpa asks him about. But it's not the only thing.
  • He wants Billy to enter a Championship Coon Hunt.
  • And by "wants Billy to enter" he means "already paid the entry fee and registered the hounds." All Billy has to do is show up with his hounds.
  • Billy takes some convincing, but he sees how excited his grandpa is and figures, why not?
  • By the time they're done discussing the details, Billy can almost feel the cup in his hands.
  • On his way home, Billy skips the whole way. Birds are singing, rabbits are hopping, it's practically a Disney cartoon. Life is good.
  • He reflects on the last two years. And realizes life is good.
  • When he gets home, he asks his dad if he wants to come with him to the coon hunt.
  • His dad is worried about leaving the farm and Billy's mom. Billy looks at his mom and notices that her belly is "all swelled up" (14.94).
  • Duh! She's pregnant and Billy hadn't even noticed. Talk about distracted.
  • Billy's mom tells his dad she'll be fine for a few more months. There really isn't any work to do on the farm, so he should go.
  • He agrees, and Billy's littlest sister asks if she can have the gold cup when Billy wins it. He swears she can, and everybody is super duper happy about life.
  • We don't know why, but we get the feeling this isn't going to last.
  • The next couple of days are spent preparing the house to make it as easy as possible for Billy's mom.
  • Billy also gets his dogs ready for the competition. Remember how Billy likes to sit down and have a chat with his dogs? Well, he still does that. The night before they're supposed to leave, he sits his dogs down and tells them how important the hunt will be.
  • The next morning Billy and his dad head down to his grandpa's store.
  • His grandpa is loading up the buggy with a tent and groceries. And some other stuff, like Billy's old ax.
  • All the blood's been cleaned off, but Billy still feels a fleeting twinge about Rubin.
  • Well, but not too bad. He's more interested in the hunt, to be honest. 
  • All three dudes—at this point, Billy basically feels like a real dude, not a little kid—pile into his grandpa's buggy and head off on their road trip, or rather, buggy trip.

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