Minggu, 18 Maret 2012

WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS

Where the Red Fern Grows Poster

Where the Red Fern Grows (2003)

Before leaving work one afternoon, Billy Coleman spots a Redbone Coonhound in a fight with neighborhood dogs. He chases the other dogs away and helps it recover from its wounds. When it is feeling stronger again, he realizes he must set it free, knowing that it will find its way home. This event makes him revisit his past, and the two Redbone coonhounds he had taken care of when he was a boy in the Ozarks.
Growing up in the Ozarks with his parents and four younger sisters, Billy, at age 10, wants to own a pair of Redbone Coonhounds but his parents tell him that they can't afford them. One day he finds an article in a sportsman magazine offering a pair in Kentucky for $25 each. He decides to earn the money himself. For two years, he works many different jobs, and manages to save $50. His grandfather writes to the kennel and finds out that the dogs have dropped in price by $5 each. He sends for two Redbone Coonhound puppies.
The mail does not deliver packages, and so the puppies have to be sent to the depot at Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Billy travels on his own by walking there and gets them. With the extra $10, he buys gifts for his family: a pair of overalls for his dad, cloth for making dresses for his mom and sisters, and a bag of candy for his sisters. On the way back home, he spends the night in Robber's Cave on Sparrow Hawk Mountain. There he builds a fire and plays with the puppies. While trying to sleep, he hears a noise that at first seems like a woman screaming, but he soon realizes it is really the scream of a mountain lion from far away. Both puppies run to the mouth of the cave and challenge the cat. Billy worries for them, and he remembers that his father told him "mountain lions are scared of fire," so he makes fire and waits for morning. In the morning, he continues on. He comes to a sycamore tree and sees the names Dan and Ann carved inside a heart in the bark and decides to name the puppies Old Dan and Little Ann.
To train his dogs, Billy catches a raccoon(ringtailed coon, according to the story) with the help of his grandfather and uses the fur to teach them how to trail one. During their training, their personalities become apparent: Old Dan is brave and strong, while Little Ann is very intelligent. Both are very loyal to each other and to Billy.
On the first day of the hunting season, Billy takes his dogs out for their very first hunt. He promises them that if they tree a raccoon, he will do the rest. They are very ready to chase their first raccoon in a large tree, which Billy had before nicknamed "the Big Tree", and it is one of the largest in the woods. As he tries to call his well-trained dogs off the hunt, they look at him sadly and he cuts down the enormous tree to keep his promise — an exhausting effort that takes him a few days of chopping and costs him blistered hands. In the end, when about to give up his effort, he offers a short prayer for strength to continue. Mysteriously, a strong wind starts to blow and the tree comes crashing down. Old Dan and Little Ann take the raccoon down.
Billy, Old Dan, and Little Ann go out hunting almost every night. As months go by, he brings more fur to his grandfather's store than any other hunter, and the stories of his dogs spread throughout the Ozarks. Not long after earning local fame, two boys named Rubin and Rainie Pritchard challenge him to a raccoon hunting contest. They say that no dog could ever chase the "ghost raccoon," one that lives near their home. He tries to ignore the challenge, but they are mean, and start to talk about his grandfather. His grandfather grows furious and tells him to accept the challenge so that Old Dan and Little Ann can chase it. After a few days of hunting and going through its tricks, Little Ann chases it. When Billy does not want to kill it, starting to give respect for it, Rubin and Rainie get angry, and at that time Old Blue, their Bluetick Coonhound, comes up and challenges Old Dan. Rubin tells Billy that his dog will easily beat Old Dan, then, Little Ann joins to protect him and Old Blue loses quickly. Rubin worries for his dog's life, grabs Billy's axe, and runs toward Old Dan and Little Ann, trying to kill them. He then trips, falls on the axe, and dies as a result of the injuries. Billy made visits to the Pritchards' family cemetery on their property, to leave flowers on Rubin's grave. On one of the visits he was possibly spotted by Mrs. Pritchard.
A few weeks later, Billy's grandfather enters him into a championship raccoon hunt, putting him against experienced hunters and the finest dogs in all the country. Before it starts, he enters Little Ann into a contest for the best-looking dog, where she wins and is given the silver cup. On the fourth night of the hunt, Old Dan and Little Ann chase three raccoons, making it to the final round. The sixth night, they chase one before a blizzard hits. Billy, his dad, grandfather, and the judge lose sight of them. When they finally find them, Billy's grandfather falls and sprains his ankle which prevents him from walking. They built a fire, and when Billy's dad chops down a tree, three raccoons rise. The dogs take down two of them, and chase the third one to another tree. In the morning, the hunters find them covered with ice circling the bottom of a tree. This last raccoon wins them the championship and the gold cup.
One night, after the hunt, Billy and his dogs chase a mountain lion, who attacks the dogs. Old Dan is disembowled, but holds off the animal long enough for Billy to get the killing blow. He rushes his dogs home, but Old Dan's wounds are too severe and he dies. Little Ann dies of grief a few days later by his grave. Billy buries her next to him. Thanks to the money earned from the sale of Billy's raccoon furs, as well as the dogs' winnings from the championship raccoon hunt, the family can finally afford to move into town.
On the day that Billy and his family are to leave the farm to move to town, he visits his dogs' graves to say goodbye. There he sees that a large plant has grown between them: a red fern. According to an old Indian legend, only an angel can plant the seeds of one and wherever it grows is sacred. With this sign, he is finally able to recover from his loss.

Films

The novel was made into a popular 1974 film starring Stewart Petersen, James Whitmore and Beverly Garland.[2] The film was remade in 2003 and starred Joseph Ashton, Dabney Coleman, Ned Beatty and Dave Matthews

 

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