Characters and Synopsis of whereby the Red Fern Grows

Billy Colman

The protagonist of whereby the Red Fern Grows. At the start of the novel that is ten years old. He has actually three younger sisters. That is filled with “puppy love”–he wants a dog badly. The is a brave boy, complete of determination and also grit.

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Billy’s papa is a good, moral farmer. That is poor, however is working hard so his family can relocate to the city. As soon as Billy buys his hounds, the starts to treat Billy choose a man


Billy’s grandfather runs a basic store and also a small mill. His store is a location where coon hunters conference to talk around hunting. He is full of imagination, and also gets Billy right into a many adventures.

Old Dan

Old Dan is just one of Billy’s red bone coonhounds. That is bigger and also stronger than tiny Ann, the various other hound. The will never ever leave a raccoon as soon as he is on its trail, although occasionally his impatience gets the finest of him, and he loser the trail.

Little Ann

Little Ann is one of Billy’s red bone coonhounds. She is smaller but smarter than Old Dan. She is a beautiful hound, and will not stop searching until she knows specifically where the coon is hiding. No coon can trick her. Because that a hound, she is extremely playful.

Ruben Pritchard

Ruben is the larger of the 2 Pritchard brothers. Lock come indigenous a strange, disliked family. Ruben is full of insults and also ready to fight. If on a hunt with Billy and Rainie, he falls on one axe and also dies.

Rainie Pritchard

Rainie is the younger of the two Pritchard brothers. They come indigenous a strange, disliked family. Rainie is not an extremely bright, but he is full of tricks and is constantly trying to do bets.


Billy’s mama is part Cherokee. She is very spiritual and constantly enjoys answering Billy’s questions about God. She worries around him once he is hunting, yet is also very proud that him. She wants very much to move to town so the kids can obtain a great education.

Billy’s Sisters

Billy has actually three sisters. All are younger than him. They help with chores, but are regularly too tiny to understand what is walking on.

Billy resides on a farm. He wants two an excellent coonhounds an extremely badly, but his Papa cannot afford any. Billy works hard, marketing fruit and also bait come fishermen, so eventually he has sufficient money for the dogs. He provides the money come his grandfather, that orders the dogs because that him. Billy sneaks off in the center of the night to walk to town and pick lock up. When in town, other children pick top top him, however he stands up for himself and also is aided by the sheriff. Top top his method home, he and also his 2 pups sleep in a cave. Outside, lock hear a mountain lion, and also the pups bravely howl back. He decides to name them Old Dan and tiny Ann. He can see that Old Dan is very brave, and that small Ann is really smart.

Once home, he wants to begin training them. He needs to have a raccoon hide come train castle with. His grand shows that a method to set a trap the will record even a clever coon. Simply when he is about to provide up top top the traps, he catches a coon. The following day he begins to train Old Dan and tiny Ann. By the time raccoon season start in the fall, they space ready. On the very first night, his dog tree a coon in the greatest tree imaginable. Billy automatically sees the it will certainly take job to reduced down. The is identified to cut it down, since he said his dogs that if they could tree a coon he would certainly take treatment of the rest. His dogs space counting ~ above him. His parents bring him food. His grandfather shows him exactly how to do a scarecrow, to store the coon in the tree therefore he have the right to go home and eat dinner. As soon as the huge sycamore finally falls and also his dogs capture the coon, the is very proud.

Billy goes coon hunting nearly every night. His father relieves him of his chores, and Billy gives him the money indigenous his coonskins. Sometimes, coons try to cheat his dogs, and also Old Dan gets right into trouble. One night, Dan it s okay stuck in a muskrat hole. An additional night, that climbs a tree. Tiny Ann is usually too smart to obtain into trouble, however one night, ~ the first snowfall, she falls through the ice on the river. Billy right rescues her.

One day, Billy and his grand make a bet with Ruben and Rainie Pritchard, that Billy’s hounds can capture the legendary “ghost coon.” The Pritchard boys collection out through Billy to watch if Old Dan and tiny Ann can capture the ghost coon. The coon leader the dogs on a long, facility chase, and also the Pritchard boys desire to offer up. However Billy is determined. Finally, when the dogs have actually the coon treed, Billy refuses to kill her. Just as Ruben starts come beat increase Billy, Old Dan and little Ann start to strike the Pritchards’ dog. Ruben runs to assault the dogs through an axe, however falls and also kills himself. Billy is an extremely distraught afterward. Lastly he goes come Ruben’s grave v some flowers, then feels much better.

Billy’s grandfather enters Billy in a coon-hunting contest. He, his grandfather, and also his father take a buggy to the contest. That is filled with adult coon hunters with expensive gear and beautiful hounds. Somehow, small Ann wins the beauty contest on the an initial day. The other coon hunters are an extremely kind come Billy. Billy and his dog qualify for the championship round. If Billy, his papa, his grandfather, and a judge room out searching with coons, a winter blizzard begins. They lose track that the dogs, and Billy’s grand falls and badly sprains his ankle. Lock stop and build a fire together day begins to break. Quickly enough, they find the dogs, covered with ice. Castle have gotten just sufficient coons to win. Everyone at the tournament cheers. Billy has likewise won a jackpot of 300 dollars.

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Billy’s mama and also sisters space overjoyed. Billy keeps up his hunting. One night, however, his dogs tree a mountain lion. Old Dan howls defiantly, and also the large cat attacks. Billy is horrified, and also with his axe that enters the fray, hoping to conserve his dogs, yet they finish up having to conserve him. Eventually, the dogs defeat the mountain lion, yet Old Dan is bad wounded. He die the following day. Billy is heartbroken, but small Ann is therefore sad that she loser her will certainly to live, and also dies a couple of days later. Billy’s papa tries to tell him that it is every for the best, since with the money Billy has earned, the household hopes to relocate to town. Billy walk not totally recover until on the work of the move; that goes come visit the dogs’ graves and also finds a giant red fern. According to Indian legend, just an angel have the right to plant a red fern. Billy and his household look at the fern in awe, and he feels all set to leave for the town.