I really enjoyed watching Billy grow during this story. I saw him learn about commitments, love, and perseverance. Billy learned that his word meant something and that his actions must back up his words. Billy started out with a want and changed it into a plan the moment he started determining how he was going to get those dogs. As he learned to act on his desire, his desire and determination grew. He worked very hard for those dogs. Two years is a long time to keep that desire strong, yet he did. Billy shared his experiences with his dogs with us. All the frustration and the achievement. I marveled at his dedication at cutting down that tree because he promised his dogs he would help them if they treed a coon. What an amazing amount of character.
At the end, I cried for the loss that Billy suffered. As I sit here I just have to say, "what? what else, don't leave it there." The idea of the Red Fern is there but did Billy never recover? Never grow from there? I want so much for Billy. The opening of the book shows that he was working and seems to be living alone. Can't tell how long has passed but I don't want that image it seems so sad. He has no more dogs, and no family to fill his life. Where is the rest of the story. Did Billy go on to accomplish great things? Did he keep on the Hero Cycle? He certainly was on the Hero cycle during most of the book, but did he stay on the Hero Cycle? Did he keep moving towards become a better person with more character? Was his experiences worth it? Did he do something to help him heal and grow?