In chapter 17 of Where the Red Fern Grows, Billy and his hounds are competing for the gold cup when a storm arrives. Through the use of personification, the author seems to portray the storm as a character in the story. For example, a "moaning sound" can be heard as the storm arrives. By giving the storm human qualities, the reader more fully understands the obstacles created by the weather. As Billy searches for his hounds, he notices that the storm has an impact on his inability to determine the hounds' location. Although he sometimes hears the dogs, the wind creates confusion. At one point, Billy recalls that "the north wind seemed to be laughing at us." This use of personification portrays Billy's feelings that the storm is working against him.
Just as another character in the story could affect the outcome of the hunt, the storm itself could affect the outcome. This is another way in which the storm seems to be portrayed as a character. Instead of simply competing against the other hunters in the competition, Billy must also compete against the storm. For example, as a result of the storm, Billy almost loses his grandpa. Little Ann alerts Billy to Grandpa's location where they find him unconscious. By overcoming the difficulties created by the storm, Billy and his hounds show the extent of their bond.