Wednesday, March 6, 2013



Old Yeller is about a 14yr old boy named Travis. He has to take care of the ranch while his dad is gone on a cattle drive in Argentina. Little did he know disaster would strike, a killer outbreak of hydrophobia also known as Rabies. This is a disease that Travis has only heard of but little did he know he would come head to head with the infected and have to shoot his dog, Old Yeller!!! Young Travis Coates is left to take care of the family ranch with his mother and younger brother while his father goes off on a cattle drive in the 1860's. When a yellow mongrel comes for an uninvited stay with the family, Travis reluctantly adopts the dog. After a series of scrapes involving raccoons, snakes, bears and all manner of animals, Travis grows to love and respect Old Yeller, who comes to have a profound effect on the boy's life. Travis explains that every thing that  Little Arliss saw would catch and put in his pocket.Because of this, Mama always makes him empty his pockets at night. In his pockets he has had everything from grasshoppers and toads to bugs and even a copperhead snake that scared Mama. After that Mama made Travis teach Little Arliss how to kill snakes. After Old Yeller came, Little Arliss started bringing home even bigger things such as rabbits and birds. Old Yeller would catch the prey and then give it to Little Arliss and he would tell Mama he caught it himself. Little Arliss grabs a fish that Old Yeller caught. The fish cuts Little Arliss with its fin but even though he is in pain he tells Mama that he had caught it him self. The next day Little Arliss was down by the creek, he saw a baby bear and decited to grab it. The mother bear thinks that her cum is in danger and she rushes over to snach it form Little Arliss. Before the bear could Old Yeller run and starts to chase after the mother bear.While he is doing this Travis tell him to let the cub down, and run. After all this Little Arliss thinks that Old Yeller has saved his life.

Travis realizes after Old  Yeller rescues Little Arliss from the bear that not only does he now appreciate the dog, but he also really loves his little brother. Travis feels greatly indebted to Old Yeller and claims he can’t do enough for him. He pets him and takes care of him and feels bad for how he treated Old Yeller earlier. To show his care for both Old Yeller and Little Arliss he takes them squirrel hunting. Little Arliss is noisy and slow like Travis knew he would be, but he tolerates it. They work out a system where Little Arliss scares the squirrels off the ground, Old Yeller trees the squirrels, and Travis shoots them. They come home with five squirrels for supper. Old Yeller begins to help the family in all.

Travis Coates is left to take care of the family ranch with his mother and younger brother Arliss while his father goes off on a cattle drive. When a yellow dog came out of no where and ends up staying with the family. Though Travis initially hates the dog and at first and tries to get rid of it, Old Yeller eventually proves his worth, saving the family on several occasions. Travis grows to love the dog named Old Yeller and they become great friends. After Old Yeller and Travis go on several adventures. Old Yeller becomes exposed to rabies while defending the family from an infected wolf. They try to nurse Yeller back to health, but in the end Travis is forced to shoot the dog. However Old Yeller had puppies with one of Travis’s friend’s dogs, and the puppy helps Travis get over Old Yeller’s death.

Authors Purpose: The authors purpose in this book is to entertain.  This is mainly because there is no real lesson learned in the book.  The story is just meant to entertain with tales of a boy and his dog.  This story would be meant for someone who wants to read an about the adventures that Travis and Yeller have.  Even though the book has a sad ending it is still a very good read for someone who wants to hear a good adventure book.

Authors Theme: The authors theme in this book is Heroism. This is because all through out the book Travis gets into some kind of trouble and Yeller saves him in a number of ways.  For example in one tale Travis is trying to catch a wild boar for food but ends up getting attacked himself.  Yeller however is around when this happens and stops it from happening and ends up killing the boar and saving Travis.

Author Information: Fred Gipson is the author of this book. In the 1940s, he began writing short stories with a western theme which proved to be prototypes for his longer works of fiction that followed. In 1946, his first full-length book, The Fabulous Empire: Colonel Zack Miller’s Story, was published. Hound Dog Man in 1947 established Gipson’s reputation when it became a Double day Book of The Month Club selection and sold over 250,000 copies in its first year of publication and was later made into a film in 1959. His additional works included The Home Place, Big Bend: A Homesteader’s Story, Cowhand: The Story of a Working Cowboy, The Trail-Driving Rooster and Recollection Creek.


  1. I highly disagree with the summary of the Authors Purpose. There was a purpose and it was that the boy was becoming a man and maturing (the process). That's why I disagree with the summary.