Read Old Yeller by Fred Gipson Free Online
Book Title: Old Yeller|
The author of the book: Fred Gipson
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 552 KB
Edition: Scholastic Book Services
Date of issue: June 28th 1980
ISBN 13: 9780590023108
Read full description of the books Old Yeller:“Now Travis,’ he said, “you’re getting to be a big boy, and while I’m gone, you’ll be the man of the family. I want you to act like one. You take care of mama and Little Arliss. You look after the work and don’t wait around for your mama to point out what needs to be done. Think you can do that?”
“Yessir,” I said.
His father had to go away to get some “cash money” by selling his steer. But the boy wanted a horse. The upshot being that if he acted as a man when his father was away, he would be rewarded with his wish upon his father’s return.
And on that note his father left with the other steer herders and they went off to the cattle market in Kansas to return in the fall.
I acquired this book on another whim. I wanted something “light” to read and I read an excellent review by Jim on Goodreads, so decided this was the book for me and a quick, light read too. How surprised I was when I started reading it and found out what a gem, well in fact it’s more of a gem, it’s a diamond and I absolutely loved it!
Here we are in Texas in the late 1860s, to find the settlers who indeed had their work cut out for them in order to survive and bring up their families. I’m terrified of snakes here in France but to think of the wide selection of animals that could be found there on an everyday basis: bobcats, bears, wolves, panthers, rattlers, hogs, coons, etc. plus the odd raiding Indians. I’m not at all surprised that the settlers would naturally have dogs as guard dogs if nothing else. I believe that I would have either stayed indoors all the time, playing the helpless female or look for a good man who wanted to settle in safer climes. But still in the 1860s, I would imagine that a woman’s lot was a hard one and she had very little choice in life; certainly nothing like the 21st century career women with choices galore if they want to take advantage of it.
The more I read about fourteen year old Travis’ family, mama and papa, of course, and five year-old Arliss (known as Little Arliss and what a terror he was, constantly causing problems), the more I became engrossed in this exciting, poignant, adventurous and yet magical book. There was the constant thrill of their life be it with an element of death living around the corner, living in a log cabin that the parents had built in a place that they named Birdsong Creek
When Travis loses his beloved dog Bell in a rather nasty way, he swears he’ll never have another one, even though his father said that it essential for the safety of their daily lives. I know how he felt. When I lost my five year old black Labrador Jasper to a dreadful end, I also swore, no, I’ll never, ever have another dog. That emotional pain and the memories I would never consider again. I can equate this to childbirth. My mother told my father after the birth of my elder brother, no more children, one’s enough but still she went on to have three more children. So Travis although not wanting another dog, unsuspectingly does end up with one, and serendipitously too when one morning he finds Little Arliss playing with this ugly dog in their drinking water. Travis is furious and remembers his father telling him, when he loses Bell, to get another dog and Travis is adamant in that he won’t have it. Nevertheless, his mother is clever, for when his father is away at the cattle market, 600 miles away, with Travis ostensibly in charge (albeit under her watchful eye), she persuades him to let Little Arliss have the dog for company as he will be alone so much as she and Travis will be too busy to play with him. So Travis begrudgingly agrees and slowly begins to love Old Yeller and what a blessing this dog turned out to be. I actually had a lump in my throat from time to time as I continued reading this book.
“We called him Old Yeller. The name had a sort of double meaning. One part meant that his short hair was a dingy yellow, a color that we called “yeller” in those days. The other meant that when he opened his head (a strange turn of phase); the sound he let out came closer to being a yell than a bark.”
We live through the “trials and tribulations” of the family and Old Yeller surviving involvements with bears and hogs, and some of those sections were quite gruesome.
I was amused when I saw that the family ate squirrel because they used to do that here about fifty years ago. I live here in France in “rusticana”, about forty miles from a city and this is a land of hunters and fishermen, so I could truly relate to this book.
Also the medicinal aspects were interesting, for example, in that when the mother used poultices for wounds she prepared “mashed-up prickly-pear root to draw out the poison” and also horse’s hair for stitching up wounds as it was ostensibly the best.
Lisbeth, who came to help out the family latterly when Travis gets involved in an accident, is a strange girl but she turns out well in the end and as for Old Yeller, what a fabulous find he turned out to be; saving the family on various occasions from some possibly very unfortunate outcomes. I could just continue in this vein. The truly sad part is when hydrophobia (rabies I guess) strikes and does the family suffer in that regard.
I initially thought that Old Yeller was the catalyst in this book but it is indeed the horse as Travis, through sheer hard work, progresses through the early stages of manhood. The horse will be his ultimate reward when he has proved himself to be a man. The ultimate test for this incredible young man and was I impressed.
This is an excellent read for all ages. I have the Kindle version and I’m now going to order a hardback copy so that I can browse through it, as will be my want from time to time.
This is an absolutely super read and my only regret is that I would have loved to have read it as a child.
Read information about the authoraka Frederick Benjamin Gipson
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