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The book "The Red Pony" is divided into three separate units. The sections serve to demonstrate the transitions that Jody goes through as he grows up and matures. The most significant event in the book which sets the stage for the relationships and the events to follow is the death of the red pony.
Jody is given the red pony by his father as a gift. He adores and trusts Billy, the hired hand at the ranch. He eats up every word that Billy tells him about the care of the pony. Billy's word is vital to Jody.
One day the colt is left in the rain. Jody ahs to go to school and does not want it out. Billy assures him that it will be fine. As a result the colt gets very sick. He deteriorates and gets out of the stable and goes off to die. They find the colt dead with a buzzard eating on him. Jody loses all faith in Billy.
In the third section Jody's father has paid down on an unborn colt. Jody learns that the mare is in distress and may lose the colt. Billy says he can save the colt, but Jody has lost all faith in him. The mare has to be killed, but the colt survives. Jody matures and begins to realize that grownups make mistakes and are not perfect. He also comes to terms with understanding death.
All of the events tie in together which is why the book is titled "The Red Pony."
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