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Billy climbs down and he tells Rubin and Rainie that he isn’t going to kill the raccoon. They call him “chicken-livered” and they warn him that if he doesn’t call his dogs on the raccoon right away, they’ll “beat [him] half to death. The boys warn Billy that if his dogs don’t kill the raccoon, theirs will.
Rubin and Rainie Prichard challenge Billy to a hunting competition. There’s a raccoon that lives near their home called the “ghost coon.” No hound has ever been able to tree it. They bet Billy two dollars his hounds can’t tree him either.
One day, while Billy is at his grandfather’s store, he sees a buggy approach. Driving it are Ruben and Rainie Pritchard, two of the meanest boys in the area. They say they don’t think his hounds look very tough, and they say that his grandfather is crooked. His grandfather is so mad, that he accepts the bet for Billy.
They wanted to bet Billy two dollars that Billy’s dogs couldn’t tree the ghost coon. He would have them put in the Tallequah jail. He knew his mother wouldn’t approve of having any dealings with the Pritchard boys. If Rainie just wanted to cause trouble, Billy would just go home.
He felt sorry for it and didn’t have the heart to kill it. Why wouldn’t Rainie and Rubin give back the money to Billy? Billy had not killed the ghost coon.
Why did Billy pay off on his bet? He had climbed the big oak tree twice and couldn’t find the coon. His dogs had given up. He decided he didn’t want to kill the old coon because it had lived there such a long time.
In his singular focus on hunting and then the death of Rubin, Billy hasn’t noticed his mother is expecting a baby. He feels bad he hasn’t noticed he is going to have a new sibling. His mother encourages his father to go to the hunt, so his father agrees to attend.
Billy leaves the house with some old, fake flowers his sisters had made a while back. He walks all the way upriver to where the Pritchards live with his dogs trailing behind him. He arrives at the fresh grave, and puts the flowers there, carefully, so that no one in the house will hear him.
Billy’s hounds ganged up on the hound belonging to the Pritchards and tore at him. Rubin took Billy’s axe and set off to attack Billy’s hounds; unfortunately, while he was running towards the fighting hounds, he tripped over and fell on the sharp axe, which killed him moments later.
Why does Billy give Rubin the $2.00? Billy gives Rubin the $2.00. This is because he has “lost” the bet. He said that he would climb the tree that the ghost coon was in one more time, and if he wasn’t there, Billy would pay up.
One night while the trio is hunting, a mountain lion attacks the dogs. The dogs manage to save Billy by killing the mountain lion, but Old Dan later dies of his injuries. Over the next few days, Little Ann loses the will to live and finally dies of grief atop Old Dan’s grave, leaving Billy heartbroken.
On the hunt, the elder Rubin accidentally falls on Billy’s ax as he tries to kill Billy’s dogs (who are fighting the Pritchards’ dog). The incident haunts Billy. To cheer Billy up, Grandpa enters him in a championship coon hunt. Billy, Grandpa, and Papa go to the contest.
Old Dan has fallen behind; his innards have fallen out and snagged on a bush. Billy carefully pushes them back into his body. When they finally return home, his mama runs the dog’s entrails through water, but it is not enough. The dog dies, and Billy is crushed.
Billy thinks Little Ann is the smarter dog. The price of a good coonskin jumped between $4 and $7. Old Dan got trapped in an old muskrat den. Little Ann was able to find Old Dan so Billy was able to dig him out.
In Where the Red Fern Grows, the ghost coon is a legendary raccoon that is impossible to catch.
The ghost coon is hiding in a hollow fence post. They do find its scent and tree it, but then they lose it. He pays up, sad that he lost the bet. Then Little Ann indicates that she knows where the coon is, and they find it hiding in a hollow fence post. Billy is very proud of his two dogs.
71. Why can’t you sell coon skins in summer? They have yellow hair.
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. Billy loves his dog too much to just let her die in the water. He goes so far as to risk his own life to save the life of his dog.
At the end of Chapter 11, why did Billy keep checking the handle of his lantern? He couldn’t believe the handle answered his plea to save his dog.
When he no longer hears the bark of Little Ann, his blood freezes. Billy realizes he can curve the lantern handle into a hook and fish Little Ann out of the river with a long stick. He saves her. When he goes home, he thinks about the lantern handle that fell as he prayed.
What happened to Little Ann while hunting after the blizzard/ice storm? A. She caught a raccoon by herself.
The first contest is a beauty competition. At first Billy doesn’t want to enter his dogs, but at Grandpa’s encouragement, he decides to enter Little Ann because she doesn’t have as many scrapes and scars as Old Dan.
Old Dan will not hunt without Little Ann and he will only then hunt with Billy. Billy’s father tries to hunt the dogs, but Old Dan will not hunt for him. The dogs work well together, Little Ann can find even the wiliest raccoon, while Old Dan is not afraid to follow the coons, no matter where they go.
At the end of chapter 11, Billy says, “If it had not been for the miracle of the lantern, my little dog would have met her death on that night.” Later that evening, he asks his mother if God answers prayers every time one was said.
For a moment, Billy is excited to learn this trick. Then he accuses his grandfather of teasing him. He reasons that the raccoon can free himself by simply releasing the shiny object and withdrawing his paw. His grandfather assures him the trick will work because the raccoon will never release the shiny object.
What does billy mean when he says papa didn’t have that whipped look on his face anymore? He was happier and not as tired not as stressed.
Billy tries this, but for days he doesn’t catch a coon. His papa reassures him, saying he just has to wait for his scent to wear off the traps. He becomes determined to cut it down, because he told his dogs that if they could tree a coon he would take care of the rest.
How did the members of Billy’s family feel about his decision? His father and grandfather supported him wholeheartedly. At first his mother wanted him to stop. After she saw that Old Dan had stayed on the bottoms near the tree all night, she agreed that Billy should get the coon for the dogs.
Billy accepts the reasonable deal. He doesn’t know this plan will be useful the very first night he hunts. The family sees Billy off as he, Old Dan, and Little Ann go into the woods to hunt ringtail raccoon for the first time. Billy is confident they will bring back a coon to hang on the side of the smokehouse.
How did Bill’s parents feel about his hunting? His mother was worried but felt she could not stop him because of all he had done to get the dogs. His father thought it was fine because he was getting to be a man.