What is "The Red Pony" about?

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ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The Red Pony”is four stories about a boy going through the process of growing up on a ranch in California.  Jody Tiffin goes through several experiences that force him to face his feeling and to grow up.  “The Gift” Carl (Jody’s father) gives him a red pony, which Jody names Gabilan. Galbilan is getting out and running away.  He gets caught in storms and becomes ill and dies.  This is the first great disappointment. “The Great Mountains” involves an old Mexican man named Gitano who shows up at the ranch.  “The Promise” Carl decides his son should raise a colt from birth. When the colt is born something is wrong. Nellie is ill. Billy has to kill Nellie and cut the colt out of her stomach. “The Leader of the People” Jody's grandfather comes for a visit. Jody's father is upset because the old man repeats stories about crossing the Plains as a wagon-master. Jody spends time with his grandfather, and he tells Jody about his feelings.  He tells Jody that what was important was not crossing the plains, but the act of leading people across it. Jody tells his granddad that he would like to do the same thing someday, but the grandfather tells him that those days are long gone.


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