Where the Red Fern Grows

by

Wilson Rawls

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Where the Red Fern Grows can help.

Rainie Pritchard Character Analysis

Rubin’s younger brother Rainie is a young boy about Billy’s age. Nervous, shifty, and always looking to make a bet, Rainie is wily and excitable. Rainie is the one who suggests Billy take on a bet that his dogs can tree the infamous “ghost coon”—an old and wily raccoon who roams the territory around the Pritchards’ homestead. Billy accepts the bet at his grandfather’s behest, but when he arrives on the Pritchards’ home turf, Rubin and Rainie denigrate him and his dogs, urge Billy to give up before the bet is done, and turn on him when he trees but refuses to make his dogs kill the raccoon. Rainie calls for Rubin to beat Billy, demonstrating his desire for violence and his excitable, changeable nature—but when Rubin falls on Billy’s ax, impaling himself, Rainie becomes full of terror and succumbs to a debilitating shock. Rainie’s meanness, then, is ultimately a mask covering his vulnerable nature—he idolizes his older brother and is devastated when Rubin dies.

Rainie Pritchard Quotes in Where the Red Fern Grows

The Where the Red Fern Grows quotes below are all either spoken by Rainie Pritchard or refer to Rainie Pritchard. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Lessons of a Dog’s Love Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Yearling edition of Where the Red Fern Grows published in 1996.
Chapter 13 Quotes

About halfway up, far out on a limb, I found the ghost coon. As I started toward him, my dogs stopped bawling. I heard something I had heard many times. The sound was like the cry of a small baby. It was the cry of a ringtail coon when he knows it is the end of the trail. I never liked to hear this cry, but it was all in the game, the hunter and the hunted.

As I sat there on the limb, looking at the old fellow, he cried again. Something came over me. I didn't want to kill him.

Related Characters: Billy Colman (speaker), Old Dan, Little Ann, Rubin Pritchard, Rainie Pritchard
Page Number: 161
Explanation and Analysis:

“Don't let him up, Rubin," Rainie said. "Beat the hell out of him, or hold him and let me do it."

Just then I heard growling, and a commotion off to one side. […] I heard Rainie yell, "Rubin, they're killing Old Blue."

Rubin jumped up off me.

I clambered up and looked over to the fight. What I saw thrilled me. Faithful Little Ann […] had gone to the assistance of Old Dan.

I knew my dogs were very close to each other. Everything they did was done as a combination, but I never expected this.

Related Characters: Billy Colman (speaker), Rainie Pritchard (speaker), Old Dan, Little Ann, Rubin Pritchard
Page Number: 164-165
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Where the Red Fern Grows LitChart as a printable PDF.
Where the Red Fern Grows PDF

Rainie Pritchard Character Timeline in Where the Red Fern Grows

The timeline below shows where the character Rainie Pritchard appears in Where the Red Fern Grows. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 12
The Lessons of a Dog’s Love Theme Icon
The Circle of Life and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...years older than Billy with broad shoulders and mean eyes. His small and antsy brother, Rainie, is Billy’s age. Rainie is positively obsessed with making bets. (full context)
The Lessons of a Dog’s Love Theme Icon
The Circle of Life and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Masculinity and Emotion Theme Icon
Sure enough, as soon as Rainie and Rubin come into the store and spy Billy, Rainie asks Billy if he wants... (full context)
The Lessons of a Dog’s Love Theme Icon
The Circle of Life and Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Rainie and Rubin make a plan to meet Billy at a landmark near their home the... (full context)
The Lessons of a Dog’s Love Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Masculinity and Emotion Theme Icon
...he begged them to catch the “ghost coon” for him and Grandpa. As Rubin and Rainie approach, Billy sees that they have their blue tick hound with them. The Pritchard boys... (full context)
The Lessons of a Dog’s Love Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
...way into a hollowed-out log which has formed a drift filled with water, Rubin and Rainie declare that the hunt is over—but Billy insists that he is not giving up until... (full context)
The Lessons of a Dog’s Love Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
...upriver through the swampy bottoms of the valley. As Billy looks over at Rubin and Rainie, he feels happy and excited in spite of his dislike of the boys. Rainie predicts... (full context)
Chapter 13
The Lessons of a Dog’s Love Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
...a field. Billy walks once around the tree looking for the raccoon, but Rubin and Rainie insist it’s no use—the “ghost coon,” they declare, has already disappeared. Rainie urges Billy to... (full context)
The Lessons of a Dog’s Love Theme Icon
The Circle of Life and Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
...coon”—having caught up with it is enough. Billy climbs down and he tells Rubin and Rainie that he isn’t going to kill the raccoon. They call him “chicken-livered” and they warn... (full context)
The Lessons of a Dog’s Love Theme Icon
Masculinity and Emotion Theme Icon
...his bet. Billy reminds him that the bet only concerned treeing the raccoon—not killing it. Rainie begins calling for Rubin to beat Billy. Rubin grabs Billy and throws him to the... (full context)
The Lessons of a Dog’s Love Theme Icon
The Circle of Life and Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Masculinity and Emotion Theme Icon
Billy turns around to see Rainie staring down at Rubin in horror. As Billy moves closer to the Pritchard boys, Rainie... (full context)
The Circle of Life and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Masculinity and Emotion Theme Icon
...news “pretty hard,” none of the women living at the Pritchards’ shed a single tear. Rainie, he says, is still in shock—he hasn’t said a word all day, and his parents... (full context)