Mason’s Letter Essay #3: Where the Red Fern Grows

Dear fellow classmates,

Recently I finished reading the book Where the Red Fern Grows, a 249 paged classic novel written by Wilson Rawls who also wrote another famouse book Summer of the Monkeys. This book is about a young boy named Billy who really want’s not one, but two coon hounds so he can go hunting. Billy really badly want’s to go hunting with his dogs every night no matter what weather or what dangerous animals are in his path, but his Mom gets horribly worried every time he leaves at night to go hunting, so billy has to be home in time for breakfast every morning so that he can get in a lot of his hunting and keep his Mom from worrying. Billy’s grandfather really want’s to see Billy and his dogs to get more fame for how good they are at hunting, but he doesn’t know how to really prove it because all the story’s he tells his customers about seem to good to be true for a little boy and two coon hounds, so with Billy’s consent he signs Billy and his dogs up for a hunting competition in the Ozark Mountains. Billy’s father and mother want to save up as much money as they can so they are able to move into town with all of the other townsfolk and so their children can get a good education, but they are short on money because at that current time farming was not a good way to earn a lot of money, so they had started to save up all of the money Billy got from the coon hides and the prize money him and his dogs got from competitions and just normal hunting in the surrounding woods of their house. “Nearing the graves, I saw something different. It looked like a wild bush had grown up and practically covered the two little mounds. It made me angry to think that an old bush would dare grow so close to the graves. I took out my knife, intending to cut it down. When I walked up close enough to see what it was, I sucked in a mouthful of air and stopped. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. There between the graves, a beautiful red fern had sprung up from the rich mountain soil. It was fully two feet tall and its long red leaves had reached out in rainbow arches curved over the graves of my dogs. I had heard the old Indian legend about the red fern. How a little Indian boy and girl were lost in a blizzard and had frozen to death. In the spring when they were found, a beautiful red fern had grown up between their two bodies. The story went on to say that only an angel could plant the seed of a red fern, and that they never died; where one grew, that spot was sacred.” Where the Red Fern Grows pg 245-246. I chose this passage because I thought it showed a very real connection between Billy and his dogs and how much faith he had that they had such pure souls that an angel had planted a sacred plant on their graves. I very much enjoyed this book and it has become one of my favorite books of all time, the emotion the author can make you feel makes it all the more reason to read this book.


Mason Wilk

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