Where The Red Fern Grows
By: Wilson Rawls
In the story Where the Red Fern Grows a person must learn to accept suffering and make sacrifices before he is truly mature. One way is when Billy has to cut down the big sycamore tree. Also another is when Billy is hanging out at his grandpa’s store. One other way is when Old Dan saves Billy’s life from the mountain lion. All three of these reasons are very helpful to explain Billy’s maturity.
The dogs chase a coon up the biggest sycamore in the river bottom. Billy tries to cut the tree down for days. He back is sore, he has blisters on his hands, and he is tired and hungry. However, as much as he wants to quit he won't give up for two reasons. One, he promised Old Dan and Little Ann that he would cut the tree down if they treed a coon. Two, he knows that if he quit now, the tree would die from all the chopping already done. He suffers and makes sacrificing by working even though he has blisters and his back hurts. Because he is mature enough to recognize the importance of keeping one's word.
Sometimes Billy hangs out at Grandpa's store. When the other hunters are there, Billy and the hunters exchange tales about their hunting adventures. Every now and then the hunters make fun of Old Dan and Little Ann. They say that Billy's dogs are small and that Little Ann isn't half as smart as Billy says she is. Hearing negative remarks about his dogs greatly offends Billy. He says that it makes his blood boil. He suffers by having the men make fun of his dogs. However, Billy is mature enough to not fight back. He says that he always took their kidding with a smile on his face.
The mountain lion jumps out of the tree and fights the two dogs. Little Ann is wounded, and Billy joins in the fight with his ax. The lion turns on Billy, but his dogs protect him. The fight continues down the mountain. The lion has Old Dan's throat, but Billy lodges the ax in its back. The dogs finish the lion off as it tries to get to Billy....