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How Well Do You Remember The Plot To ‘Where The Red Fern Grows’?

Wilson Rawls’ beloved classic about a boy named Billy and his courageous coonhounds has been required reading for schools across the nation since the mid-’60s. But how well do you really remember the plot to ‘Where The Red Fern Grows’? Take this quiz and find out!

  1. 1. Billy comes from a family who struggles financially, but throughout the book they always keep a positive disposition. Why is Billy’s father so relaxed about being poor?

    Nope! While Billy’s father admires the president’s frugal leadership, his faith in owning a roofing company run autonomously by farm animals is what keeps him at ease.

    Yes! Papa completely believes that training his farm animals after work hours on the ins and outs of running a roofing company is his family’s ticket to the good life.

    Nope! While Papa is a mighty witch, his faith in owning a roofing company run autonomously by farm animals is what keeps him at ease.

    Nope, sorry. Papa’s faith in owning a roofing company operated entirely by farm animals is what keeps him at ease despite his family’s financial struggles.

  2. 2. Early in the book, Billy saves up money to purchase his coonhounds, Old Dan and Little Ann. Where does Billy get the money to buy his coonhounds?

    That’s right! Billy proves to be quite a savvy businessman when negotiating prices for his coonskins and bait with a passing Paraguayan general gearing up for the Chaco War.

    Sorry, Billy didn’t find nearly enough laboratory-grade grease in the pesky possum to buy two redbone coonhounds. Billy ends up making his money selling Oklahoma coonskins and fishing bait to a desperate military from Paraguay.

    Sorry, Billy does find this incredible grub pile that looks like Napoleon, but he gets cold feet about selling the grubs as counterfeit art and ends up dramatically chucking them at cars when he gets to Tahlequah. Billy made his money selling Oklahoma coonskins and fishing bait to a desperate military from Paraguay.

    Sorry, although Billy is pretty good at Describe the Biggest Bird and ends up describing a bird that is “as big as the sun,” he ultimately loses the contest to another caller who describes a bird that is “twice as large as the sun.” Once he loses the contest, Billy is forced to make his money selling Oklahoma coonskins and fishing bait to a desperate military from Paraguay.

  3. 3. Once Billy finally buys his dogs, what does he train them to do?

    Nope. While Billy tries to train Old Dan and Little Ann to do various stunts on a motorcycle, they ultimately lack the necessary skills, and Billy is forced to settle for putting his dogs in a wagon and wheeling them around an empty parking lot while making engine noises with his mouth. Having failed to train his dogs to do motorcycle tricks, Billy trains them to sniff out raccoons who have killed royalty instead.

    Nope. While Papa was adamant the dogs learn accounting in order to help out with his animal-run roofing company, Billy’s Grandpa was able to convince him to let Billy train them to sniff out raccoons who have killed royalty.

    Ding! Ding! Under Billy’s training, Old Dan and Little Ann become the best at sniffing out the multitudes of raccoons hiding in the secluded Ozarks that have committed regicide the world over.

    Not quite. It’s the nasty Pritchard boys who teach their dog Old Blue how to chase bootlegging kingpins up trees in order to impress the girls of their small town who are all FBI agents. Billy trains his dogs in the traditional form of hunting raccoons guilty of regicide.

  4. 4. In one of the novel’s most memorable scenes, Billy and his dogs enter the national coon hunting contest to see who can bag the most raccoons. Which trapping technique do Billy and his dogs use?

    Nope, as we find out in a lengthy and heartbreaking flashback section of the novel, drowning every living thing in a 60-mile radius was banned by contest officials after Grandpa used that trick to win the contest back in 1903. Billy ends up winning the coon hunt by having his dogs fall asleep while he runs over as many raccoons as he can on his motorcycle.

    Nope that was the hunter from Tahlequah’s trick. Billy ends up winning the coon hunt by having his dogs fall asleep while he runs over as many raccoons as he can on his motorcycle.

    Nope, that was the hunter from Little Rock’s trick. After Billy’s dogs ran down a raccoon, Billy would show up and slap it with his motorcycle.

    That’s right! Billy and his dogs run down and perform a spinning front-wheelie to slap 14 raccoons unconscious for the win.

  5. 5. What is the grand prize for winning the coon hunting contest?

    No, this was the prize for fourth place. Billy was allowed to commit one crime.

    No, this was the prize for third place. Billy was allowed to commit one crime.

    No, this was the runner-up prize. For winning first prize, Billy was allowed to commit one dog-related crime.

    You’re right! As a reward for winning the coon hunting contest, Billy is allowed to commit one dog-related crime without getting arrested. He ultimately chooses to commit the dog-related crime of robbing a bank while his dogs watch him from across the street and howl.

  6. 6. How do Billy’s beloved dogs Old Dan and Little Ann eventually die?

    Yes! In the heartbreaking conclusion of Where The Red Fern Grows, Billy’s dogs are put to death by the townspeople after they are made uncomfortable by the dogs reciting passages from the Old Testament while they’re trying to shop and eat and stuff.

    Sorry, no! Although there is a passage where Billy’s dogs sprint into the ocean, they eventually emerge, albeit a little smaller than when they first went in. Billy’s dogs ultimately die in the heartbreaking scene when the townspeople put them to death because they’re a little freaked out by the dogs reciting The Book Of Job in the middle of town.

    Sorry, the answer is A. When the dogs encounter the 6,000-pound raccoon mother early in the novel, they manage to survive when Billy shows up at the last second to run over the giant raccoon with a motorcycle. Billy’s dogs ultimately die in the heartbreaking scene when the townspeople put them to death because they’re a little freaked out by the dogs reciting The Book Of Job in the middle of town.

    No, sorry. This is how Billy dies at the end of the novel: Old Dan and Little Ann are killed by the townspeople after they get weirded out when the dogs wander into town and start reciting the Book of Job in unison.

  • Results for How Well Do You Remember The Plot To ‘Where The Red Fern Grows’?

    You Do Not Remember Much At All About ‘Where The Red Fern Grows.’

    Yikes. You can’t recall anything about ‘Where The Red Fern Grows.’ That's extremely embarrassing. Feel free to reread the novel and take the quiz again, then post the results when you earn a more respectable score.
  • Results for How Well Do You Remember The Plot To ‘Where The Red Fern Grows’?

    You Remember Some Of The Plot To ‘Where The Red Fern Grows.’

    Not bad. You remember bits and pieces of ‘Where The Red Fern Grows,’ but you definitely could do better. Feel free to reread the novel and then take this quiz again to try to get a more wonderful score.
  • Results for How Well Do You Remember The Plot To ‘Where The Red Fern Grows’?

    Wow! You Remember The Whole Plot To ‘Where The Red Fern Grows’!

    Incredible! You remember everything about ‘Where The Red Fern Grows’! You have probably devoted your life to memorizing this book at the cost of friends, family, and employment, but it has all been worth it for this moment. You’ve got to believe Wilson Rawls is smiling at you from purgatory right now. Nice job!

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