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Billy goes to his dogs' grave to say goodbye. He finds a tall, beautiful red fern between the graves. He remembers the Indian legend about a little boy and girl who had been lost in a blizzard and froze to death. When their bodies were found in the spring, a red fern had sprouted between them. As the legend goes, only an angel can plant the seeds of a red fern, which never dies and makes the spot sacred.
Billy calls his family, and they feel it is God's way of explaining to Billy why his dogs have died. Billy does feel better, and he says a final goodbye to his dogs. The family rides away and looks back at the red fern, visible in the distance.