Why did Grandpa put his britches on backwards in Where the Red Fern Grows?

1 Answer

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Grandpa puts his britches on backwards because he is excited and gets dressed too fast.

Grandpa encourages Billy to enter Old Dan and Little Anne in a coon hunting contest.  He goes with Billy, and Billy’s father and the judge accompany them.  The dogs scent a raccoon. 

There was a mad scramble.  Grandpa tried to put his britches on backwards.  The judge and Papa ran over to help him with his shoes.  Each one tried to put a shoe on the wrong foot.  I was laughing so hard I could do nothing. (Ch 16, p. 186)

The dogs had found the coon in swampland.  Old Dan came to a tree, but there was no coon. The judge decided the dogs had been fooled.  They find the coon, and eventually Billy wins the competition.

The contest demonstrates that Billy has a strong bond with his dogs, but also his father and grandfather.  All of them support him, and they all love each other.