1. Throughout the narrative, Jody performs chores that assist in the survival of the Baxter family since he has no brothers or sisters. His hoeing of the sweet potato field, feeding of the animals, milking Triste, etc., are all contributions to the well-being of his family.
2. In Chapter 14 after Penny is bitten by a rattlesnake, Jody runs for help at the Forresters, who fetch Doc Wilson. Without Jody, Baxter may have died. And, while Penny recovers he helps his mother and cheers her, preventing her from becoming ill or ineffective.
3. In Chapter 23 a pack of wolves attack the Baxters' calf, killing it before Penny and Jody can reach it. Only one wolf is killed by old Julia since the others quickly ran off. Baxter realizes that three dozen wolves are too much for him, so he travels to the Forresters' home the next day, leaving Jody to protect Ora. When she expresses her fear, Jody, who has expressed his desire to go with his father, tells his mother,
"Don't fret, Ma. I'll stay and keep off the wolves."
4. In Chapter 24 as the Baxters work with the Forresters to kill the remaining wolves, Penny creates a ruse to draw the wolves towards them since there are not enough men to surround them. He tells Jody to ride Caesar and
"When you git opposite that tallest pine, you cut right back acrost the marsh towards us here. Jest as you turn, take a pot-shot at the pack...Go fast but quiet...."
In this way the wolves will be herded toward the men, who can then shoot them. When they come past the men, they shoot the predators.