Where the Red Fern Grows

by Wilson Rawls

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In Where the Red Fern Grows, what did Billy do with his raccoon hunting earnings?

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Billy gave the money he earned from the raccoon hides to his father. This was a lot of money, too, since "the price of coonskins jumped sky-high" do to demand in the East for coonskin coats. Each hide was worth from four to ten dollars.

Billy didn't really care about the money, though. He never asked his father about it and simply figured the money was being saved for something. As he says in chapter ten, "I wasn't bothered by it and I asked no questions." Instead, Billy was fixated on his dogs, who were his constant companions.

Billy's attitude towards money is one of the themes of the book. He works very hard to save the fifty dollars he needs to buy the dogs, but the money has little meaning to him beyond that. Similarly, even though the dogs provide him with the means to get many coonskins, he is more interested in the dogs and the adventure of hunting than he is in the money he earns doing it.

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Billy turned over the money he earned to his father.

In Chapter 10, the text tells us that Billy enjoyed hunting raccoons for their skins. Accordingly, a good-sized hide could fetch anywhere from four to ten dollars, depending "on the grade and quality" of the hide. Although Billy made good money from selling the hides, he didn't care much about the money itself.

He turned over all his profits to his father and asked no questions about what his father did with the money. To Billy, the most important things in life were his dogs, Old Dan and Little Ann. With Old Dan and Little Ann by his side, Billy hunted coons with relish. The text tells us that Billy only stayed home from coon-hunting when the weather turned bad, and even then, his mother "all but had to hog-tie" him at home. Billy sold his coon hides at his grandfather's store.

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