In Chapter 8 of Where the Red Fern Grows, why does Billy groan and close his eyes when he sees where the coon has been treed?
Billy groans and closes his eyes when he sees where his hounds' first coon has been treed because the coon is at the top of one of the tallest trees in the forest. Billy had often admired this tree, which stands "like a king in his own domain," towering far above the others. Although he has climbed many trees, Billy knows he cannot climb this one, as it is sixty feet up to the first limb, and is too thick for him to cut down in any reasonable amount of time. Billy tries to call his dogs off, but they will not desist, and Billy feels terrible because he feels he is letting them down. Billy had trained his dogs to know that "if they put a coon in a tree, (he) would do the rest," and he knows that they expect him to keep his end of the bargain. Because of this, Billy determines to cut down the tree with his little axe, no matter how long it takes.
Billy works on the tree for a number of days and nights, returning home only to eat and sleep. When he has cut halfway through, painful blisters develop on his hands, and he is forced to concede defeat. Happily, just at the moment when he is ready to give up, the wind starts blowing strongly, and finishes the job that Billy has begun. The tree falls, the coon runs off, but is caught by the dogs and killed (Chapters 8 and 9).