BC: The End
FC: Where the Red Fern Grows
1: Table of Contents Chapter 1: Exposition or Background pg 2 Chapter 2: Rising Action pg 4 Chapter 3: Climax pg 7 Chapter 4: Falling Action pg 10 Chapter 5: Resolution or Denouement pg 15
2: Chapter One Exposition or Background My Grandma once told me a story of how a little girl and a little boy froze to death on our own Ozark mountains. When the mother and father found their cold bodies they also found a red fern that had grown between them, as if to symbol unending love. I don't know why but that story was always the most interesting one that Grandma told. I, Billy Coleman, live on a farm with my mama, papa, and three pesky sisters deep in the Ozarks in Oklahoma. My grandpa owns the only store for miles around and is the best grandpa any boy could ever wish for. One day a few hunters came asking for permission to fish and hunt on our land. I didn't pay any attention to what they were saying though, because they had two hunting hounds in the back of their car. I went to the hounds and talked to them until the men had to leave. As I watched the dogs disappear I got a horrible wanting for hunting hounds. The dog-wanting disease soon got so bad that my mind couldn't focus on anything else but dogs and I couldn't go to sleep. I prayed and prayed that somehow I would be able to get some dogs.
3: The hunters left and I went to their camp in hopes of finding something that the hunters had left behind. As I neared the camp, I saw a hunting magazine laying on the ground. I picked it up and with shaking hands flipped to the dog adoption section. I scanned through the list of dogs until I found what I wanted, two Redbone coonhounds for twenty five dollars each. I was determined to get those dogs. | The Ozark mountains.
4: Chapter 2 Rising Action If I had learned anything from living on the farm, I knew that things aren't just given to you, you have to work for it. So, as soon as I got home from the camp, I started thinking of what I could do to earn fifty dollars. Fisherman came and went and I offered them work labor, food, and basically anything else I found a reasonable seller. The price was never set. I sold it for whatever they offered. I also made some peaches to sell to the woman in my town, they were the same price wise. My back and neck ached from working all day long in the scorching sun. The hunters and fishermen were always incredibly generous and always bought my stuff. I never did tell anybody about my money saving because I was afraid papa would use my money to buy the mule he needed so badly. All of the money I was getting went into an old KC can hidden away in our hay barn. Two years passed of this working and finally I had enough money to buy myself two coonhounds. I ran to papa's store and displayed my money to him. He didn't say or do anything besides finger the money and count and count it.
5: Once he was done looking at the money he slowly lifted his head and looked me in the eyes asking me what I wanted. I told him I wanted two coonhounds and I knew exactly where to get them. I wanted him to order them for me. Grandpa looked at the money again and for a second I was afraid he would say no. He looked up at me again and with a fire in his eyes said that he was for sure going to get those dogs. My heart swelled up with joy and I smiled with all my heart. Every day since then I ran down to the store to see if Grandpa had any news for me. One day I ran down to grandpa's shop to see Grandpa helping some people. Once he saw me he smiled and winked at me. I waited for what seemed like forever for Grandpa to finish up with the people. Finally the people left and I ran to the counter. Grandpa handed me a note that said the dogs would be ready for pick up the next day at Tahlequah, Kentucky. I smiled and asked Grandpa how far away Kentucky was. He said it was 32 miles on road and 21 miles as the crow flies. I asked how I was going to get there and Grandpa replied that someone was going to be traveling there next Saturday.
6: I said I wouldn't be able to wait that long. Grandpa said I would have to and handed me a quarter sack of candy. I thanked him and skipped the whole way home. | Billy showing his grandpa his money.
7: Chapter 3 Climax The next night all I could think about where the dogs. It all became too much for me and I sneaked out of my house, starting my journey to find my dogs. I went to the barn and grabbed a gunny sack, filled it with canned meat and sweets. I started my way on the road, but as I got further along, I traveled off the trail and into the forest. When I got too hungry or my bare feet got too sore I would take a break, then start off again. By about noon I reached Tahlequah. It was a magnificent sight for a young farm boy and I soon got lost in the hustle and bustle. I asked a man were the Depot was. He said to go out of the main part of town until I saw a big building. I thanked him and started on my way. People kept staring at me like I was a wild animal, but I couldn’t figure out why. I passed through the school and saw some boys about my age going down a long pipe. I stopped and stared wondering what the strange pipe like thing was. One of the boys came to me and asked if I was from here. I replied no and that I came from a small mountain town some miles from here. He looked at my bare feet and started calling me a “hillbilly”.
8: Soon all the boys were chanting “hillbilly” at me. With a lump in my heart I walked away. A big building appeared and I knew it was the Depot. For some reason I suddenly felt shy and didn’t want to go inside, even though I was longing for my dogs. I gathered up enough confidence to walk in. As I walked through the door the station master asked how I was doing. He talked about the weather and rain and I was polite and answered back. He then asked where I was from and I told him that I was from a small mountain town in Oklahoma. The Depot master said he had two pups in the back whining and scratching for a boy from there. My eyes lit up and I exclaimed that they were for me. He took me to the back and asked if I wanted to keep the crate or have just the pups. I told him just the pups. Once he was done opening the crate my pups scrambled out. I wanted to move but somehow couldn’t move my feet. My breath caught in my throat as one of the two dragged itself to me. The other one soon followed and a few minutes later both pups were licking my bare feet. I kneeled down and started stroking their smooth, silky, coats. I smiled at them, knowing that all the work I had done was worth it.
9: The station master asked where I was going to put them and I pointed at my sack. He looked over the sack, the station master decided that he was going to cut two holes in so the pups could breath. After he he was finished cutting the holes, I thanked him and started on my way home with a joy so big I felt as if I would explode with happiness. | Old Dan and Little Ann as puppies.
10: Chapter 4 Falling Action Arriving home, I hugged mama and papa and pleaded for their forgiveness. My sisters were gushing all over the pups and asking what their names were. I proudly answered that the smaller ones name was Little Ann and the bigger ones name was Old Dan. They kept squealing and giggling as Little Ann played with her tail. I smiled at my pups as I felt mama’s arms overcome me into a hug. The next morning I started training my pups. They were a true team. Little Ann was the smarter one of the two, she would never overrun a trail, Old Dan on the other hand was the physical leader. He was bigger and stronger than Little Ann but would overrun a trail. When Old Dan overran a trail, it was Little Ann’s job to get Old Dan back on the right track. Little Ann and Old Dan were always together. They loved each other more than anything else on the planet. One wouldn't even eat without the other. By no time at all, my pups had learned all the tricks that I knew a coon would do. I knew the coon hunting season was coming soon, so I prayed every night that Old Dan and Little Ann would tree a coon on their first night.
11: Coon hunting season was soon upon me, and my first hunt had finally come. My mama was oh so worried for me and begged that I be back before long. I told her I would be careful and stepped outside the door. I smiled at my family, turned, and called to my dogs. They came running to me and together we started towards the bottoms. Before long my dogs had found a trail. I listened to their beautiful cries as they followed the coon. After some time, I heard Old Dan cry the tree call. I ran as fast I could to my dogs, feeling like a proud father. But, when I came to the sight of my dogs and saw that they had treed the coon in the biggest tree in the bottoms. I called to my dogs, wanting to leave, but they wouldn't budge. After trying and trying to persuade my dogs to leave but failing, I started chopping down the tree. The tree finally came down after three days of chopping. My dogs got the coon. Little Ann and Old Dan were soon catching coon after coon every night. One day, I went down to Grandpa’s shop to talk to him. He looked at me in the eyes and told me that there was a coon hunting tournament this Saturday. Would I like to go?
12: I exclaimed yes and threw my arms around Grandpa. He told me to ask papa if he wanted to go. I told him I would ask. Papa decided to come and after packing up, we went down to Grandpa's shop. We piled our stuff in Grandpa's carriage. Two days passed of traveling and we arrived at the coon hunting tournament. The first competition was a beauty pageant. I looked around at the other camps and saw that all the other hunters had fancy brushes and were making their dogs shine. I picked Little Ann to show and used butter and Grandpa’s brushes to make her look as pretty as all the other dogs. After intense judging, Little Ann won the beauty pageant and was awarded with a small silver cup. I could see how proud she was of herself. After the pageant, my team was selected to hunt on the third day. The first day, one team had gotten three coons, and the other team had gotten two. The second day both teams got two, so neither one moved on. The third day was my turn. My heart felt as if it was going to pop out of my chest as the starting whistle was blown. Old Dan roared ahead with Little Ann close on his tail.
13: Soon enough, I heard Little Ann call treed. I ran to the tree and and saw it was small enough to climb. I climbed it, scared the coon out and soon it was skinned. Old Dan and Little Ann went out in search of another coon. They found a trail and shortly afterward I had my second coonskin. Little Ann found another trail and soon Old Dan was rummaging around with her. They were hot on the pesky coon’s trail when he crossed the river. Easily outswimming my dogs, he got away for a little while. Just before I was about to start heading in, I heard Little Ann’s beautiful call. Her and Dan tracked the coon down until he finally decided to go into a tree. After hearing treed, I ran to my dogs and killed the coon. Arriving back at camp, I realized that I had won my match. On the fourth and fifth night, all the men had only caught two coons. The sixth night crept up on me. It was the finals and I was in it. That seemed like a dream to me. I talked to my dogs and told them how much winning this competition would mean to me. They seemed to get it.
14: A few hours later, the whistle blew and I started off with Grandpa, Papa, and the judge. Before we had caught any coons, a terrible storm blew in. During the storm, I thought I had lost Little Ann and Old Dan forever and Grandpa sprained his ankle so badly that he passed out. Once the storm was over, I ended up with three coons. Those three coons won me the competition. All I could do was smile and stroke my dogs as I was awarded with three hundred dollars and a gleaming gold cup. | Old Dan and Little Ann winning the competition.
15: Chapter 5 Resolution or Denouement Arriving home, Mama and the girls ran towards us, engulfing me and Papa into a hug. I smiled at Mama as I showed her my cups. Mama just stared at the cups for a while before exclaiming “two cups?”. I told her how I had gotten both cups. She just smiled at me like I was the best thing in the entire universe. But when Papa showed mama the money, she became speechless and her face turned white. That night for dinner we had my favorite thing that Mama made. Everyone was laughing and having fun. The next night I took Old Dan and Little Ann hunting on the other side of the river bottoms. Before long, my dogs had caught a trail. They chased it for hours on end. By that time I had figured out it wasn't a coon. I heard Old Dan call treed, but something was different. I ran up the hill to find Old Dan bawling at a tall tree. In the tree sat a mountain lion. I tried to get Old Dan away from the tree, but couldn’t. I looked up at the lion just in time to see him get into a pounce position. The lion pounced straight at me, but Old Dan and Little Ann were
16: I grabbed my ax and sunk it into the lion's back, screaming. Blood sprayed everywhere. Little Ann was hanging onto the lions neck while Old Dan fought the beast head on. I kept my ax in the lions back and backed away as he fell to the ground. I had to pry Old Dan loose from the dead lion, and even then I had to keep ahold of his collar so he wouldn't run back to the lion. I felt Little Ann and noticed that she only had a few cuts. Old Dan was a different story. He could barely walk and was dripping blood from all over his body. I realized that if I didn't do something quick, Old Dan would bleed to death. Rubbing dirt into his wounds stopped the bleeding. I carried Old Dan home and had Mama fix him and Little Ann up. But, Mama wasn't a doctor and Old Dan died. After Old Dan’s death, Little Ann gave up the will to live. One evening I couldn’t find Little Ann anywhere, but knew where she would be. I ran up to Old Dan’s grave to find Little Ann’s lifeless body laying on it. I buried her next to Old Dan. After Little Ann and Old Dan died, my family and I moved to the Tahlequah. But, before we left, I went to Old Dan and Little Ann’s graves to say a final goodbye. As I approached the graves, my breath was taken away from me.
17: In between the graves was a red fern. A red fern planted by the angels of heaven. I never did get to go back to the Ozarks. I live in the city and can only dream of Little Ann and Old Dan. I’m sure that their graves are now the center of a field of red ferns. A field of red ferns that symbolize what prodigious dogs Old Dan and Little Ann were and to symbolize their unending love for each other and hunting. | Old Dan and Little Ann's graves.