Where the Red Fern Grows – Thug Notes Summary & Analysis

Sup y’all? Grab yo’ tissues and pop some
Zoloft cuz today we weepin’ like a bunch of bitches with Where the Red Fern Grows by
Wilson Rawls. Billy Coleman rollin home from work one day
when he see a dog fight goin down in the streets: a whole gang of em jumpin a Redbone hound.
Afta’ shakin’ dem haters off, Billy take dat pooch back to the crib to give it some
love and care. Dat puppy chill-sesh throw us in to a FLASHBACK, playa! Back when Billy was a lil ‘un, he was hittin’
his parents up fo’ a dog. Pops like “Aight, son. We’ll get you a lil pup from the neighbor’s
place.” But Billy like “Bitch please, I want two redbone hounds so I can hunt coons.”
That’s RA-coons!! And daddy all like: “Da hell you think this is boy? We ain’t got
da ends fo’ dat.” So Billy hustle fo’ TWO DAMN YEARS til he save up enough cheddar
to buy a couple dogs, and his gramps help him order em. When the dogs come in, Billy
hear he gonna have to wait a week before he gets em. But Billy ain’t gonna just sit
on his ass and wait, so he hikes 20 miles ONE WAY to scoop em up. Billy end up gettin’ one boy puppy and one
girl puppy, and since it’s gettin late, decide to set up shop in a cave and hold it
down til morning. When a mountain lion roll up tryna mad dog em, da pups don’t take
NO shit and start hollerin’ right back “WOOF WOOF MUTHAFUCKA”. Billy start screamin his ass off and throwin
rocks til eventually dat puss turns his ass around and book it. Next day, Billy leave
da cave and peep two names written on a tree and decide THAT’S gonna be the dem pooches
names: Old Dan and Lil’ Ann. Back at home, Billy’s gramps help a brutha
catch a coon, and then use da fur to teach Ol’ Dan and Lil’ Anne how to HUNT like
BIG DAWGS. Billy recognize dat Old Dan got da muscle, but it’s Lil’ Anne who got
da brains. One da first day of hunting season, Old Dan
and Lil’ Anne chase a coon up da phattest tree in town. Billy promised his pups dat
once they cornered one of dem suckas, he’d do the rest. So B-money bust his ass for DAYS
tryna’ cut dat tree down. Jus’ when he bout to say “fuck it,” he get down on
his knees and start prayin’ fo mo’ strength.. Then what do ya know? WHOOOOOSH- a big ass
wind blows the tree down and the pups GIT dat coon. As da months go on, word on the street is
dat Billy and his pups are da best hunters in da hood. Knowin he got da game sowed up,
Grandpa make a bet with da local Pritchard boys sayin dat Old Dan and Lil Ann so trill
that they can even catch the mysterious “ghost coon.” And jus’ like the G-UNIT they be,
Billy and the dogs pretty much CATCH it, but Billy don’t wanna kill da poor thang- he
just feelin’ sorry for it. When Rubin Prichard gettin’ all up in Billy’s grill fo’
bitchin’ out, Lil Anne and Old Dan start whoopin on Rubin’s pooch. Rubin grabs an
axe to fight off the dogs, but he chokes and accidentally ices himself. Later, gramps enters Billy and the pooches
in to a hunting competition. Not only do Lil’ Anne win “sexiest bitch in town”, but
after nights of roughin it through a redonkulous blizzard, the pups bring home the GOLD CUP.
Now Billy and his fam are 3 Benjamins richer too. Later, Billy on da hunt when Ol’ Dan and
Lil’ Anne corner a damn mountain lion in a tree. When da Mountain Lion start scrappin’
with da pups, Billy grab an axe ready to bang out. But it’s the dogs who gotta save Billy’s
weak ass. They eventually kill the Mountain Lion, but Old Dan gets fucked up in da fight,
and dies. Lil Anne can’t go on without her puppy-bro, so she stops eating and dies too.
Man. Fuck this book. I’m done. I’m done. (Sparky walks off screen) Billy just cain’t
figger out why his pups had to die. And you know what? Me neither. Bullshit, man. Ain’t all bad though, with dat swole stack
o’ prize money, Billy’s family can finally get outta da boonies and move to da city.
On the day of the move, Billy visits the dogs graves, where dere be some red fern growin.
Brutha get all riled up and bout to chop it down, but then he remember dat according to
Native American legend, only angels can plant dat shit and dat it last forever. So he decide
to leave it, knowin’ dat he ain’t never gonna forget da way those dogs affected him
fo’ the better. Mah boy Edgar Allen Poe once preached dat
there ain’t nuthin’ mo depressing than losin’ a lover. Guess dat fool never lost
a dog. …Yeah I cried. SO WHAT?? Like Billy himself say on page 16, da love
between a man and his pooch ain’t like da feeling you get when mackin’ on a hunny
tryna get some action. Nuh-uh. This is some of da realest love in the game. Them dogs
keep it so real that they willing to lay it ALL on the line to get their boy Billy’s
back- and it ain’t just cuz they loyal. Check what Mr. Kyle say on p. 184 And it ain’t jus’ Ol’ Dan and Lil’
Anne gooin hard fo’ Billy. Matta’ fact, Billy show dat kinda love ain’t a one way
street: he ALSO grindin hard in the name of love. When da pups run a coon up dat big ass
tree, Billy gonna do what he promised- cut dat tree even if it take him a damn year of
sweatin’ his balls off to do it. And you best BELIEVE he follow through, cuz Billy
is one of the most DETERMINED cats in da hood. Whether it be hustlin to stack enough cheddar
to buy the dogs, or teachin’ em to swim- Billy neva’ trippin in the face of a gnarly
challenge. He just beast through it like a G. But sometimes, determination ain’t cuttin’
it fo’ Billy. He need somethin’ mo. A buncha times throughout this book, Billy
start prayin’ fo strength, and after he do, he able to keep it clutch and get shit
DONE. And just as God pitied Billy and decided to
help a brutha out when he in need, Billy always showin’ love to otha’s when they in bunk-ass
situations- like when he told he gotta ghost da ghost coon, he pities da poor thang and
tells Pritchard to step. When da big man upstairs shows you love, ain’t
no doubt it’s legit to pay it forward. But when you lose somebody or something that mean
mo’ than life itself, how you gonna keep da faith? Maybe yo prayers don’t always get answered
da way you want em to, but that don’t mean da big G-man ain’t lookin’ out for you
in other ways. Peep this convo between Billy and his dad- All deez fresh themes- love, sacrifice, pity,
and God, come together in da image Red Fern that growin on dem dogs’ graves. Word is
dat only angels can plant summodat red stuff and it last fo’eva- jus’ like the memory
of Lil Anne and Ol’ Dan inside Billy’s dome. And like he say at the beginning of the book,
after all these years, Billy feel like a piece of him still buried under dat fern. Yuh, this is a kids book, but it force us
to stare down the barrel of one of da realest questions they is: is there anything you love
enough to give yo’ life for? Thanks for checkin me out, son. Catch y’all
lata. Peace.

100 Replies to “Where the Red Fern Grows – Thug Notes Summary & Analysis

  1. In 4th grade, we read this whole story together and by the end, the whole class flooded the room with tears and it was so dang sad. Then later in the year I read Old Yeller and I came to the conclusion that the author just has a fetish with killing dogs.

  2. Oh my Goodness, I hated this movie book whatever so much. Rather babysit two red dogs and cry the entire time. -iluvdoggies

  3. The moral of the story is don't read books about dogs. They do not have happy endings. Old Yeller, Fox and the Hound, etc

  4. I watched the movie when I was a kid. I never knew it was a book… Though the movie made cry so who knows how I'll cry reading the book.

  5. This story nearly made me cry. Especially since my own Dog recently died. This story is so sad. But so good at the same time

  6. So the good lord killed his dogs so that he wouldn't be separated from his family. Instead of making a place where the dogs could live with them.

  7. At the 3:50 mark, you had me howlin'!
    Those scenes angered he hard when I was in school and had to read this one. Harsh.

  8. 2:06
    The fuck is up with that calendar? It's got 6 days per week, but it's numbered like it has 8. Shit's all sorts of fucked up.

  9. My English teacher in high school wanted to encourage me to start reading so he Lent me his favorite book where the red Fern grows…I didn't Read it…few years later I came across it an took a shot a reading it…I loved it and ever since I've read over a hundred books..

  10. I refuse to finish watching this because I dont think it will end well for any of the dogs and really thats the only shit that can make me cry anymore

  11. Just thinking about that speech Mr. Kyle makes never fails to utterly choke me up. It’s already been said many times, but we don’t deserve dogs and their unconditional love.

  12. I felt bad for the racoons, the boy and the mountain lion rather than for the dogs… I later found out I'm not a dog person.

  13. This book didn't affect me like that. I was happy with we were done reading and it help me to get the pretty girl in my class a shoulder to cry on. Which open other doors for me.

  14. God. I read this book in fourth grade without knowing how sad it was and it took me like five hours to stop crying.

  15. This movie (and book) made me cry buckets!!! The author also made another book about dogs (I forgot what its called) and thankfully the doggos dont die in that

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