Where the Red Fern Grows

Where the Red Fern Grows

What does the dogs presence in Chapter 1 awaken in the unnamed man?

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In Chapter One, the narrator, Billy Colman, comes home from work feeling very good. He sees several dogs fighting one dog, an old redbone hound. But the hound is defiant and fends off several attackers. Billy is shaken; he remembers a time when an old hound such as this one had sacrificed its life for him.