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My mom swears that I have seen Where the Red Fern Grows at least twice in my childhood, but I don’t remember it, so I’m going to pretend it never happened.

John and Bobby Taylor (I jokingly refer to him as my other son) came home from the Wal-Marts a couple of months ago with Where the Red Fern Grows and a ginormous case of Diet Dr. Pepper. Priorities people.

We had been talking about good wholesome shows for the kids to grow up watching. I brought Shirley Temple, Pollyanna and I Love Lucy to the table. John? Yeah, he came up with Where the Red Fern Grows, Old Yeller, Swiss Family Robinson, Bedknobs and Broomsticks and My Side of the Mountain. Not that I have anything against those movies, but they aren’t really my style per say. There is a huge lack of gigantic southern bows and sweetness in those movies. He found My Side of the Mountain at an old book/movie store in Nashville and we watched it as a family a while back. Y’all. If I’m lying im dying – hands down the most boring movie I have ever seen. The kids were excited about it for all of 30 minutes and I think it really hurt John’s feelings. The movie holds a special place in his little heart and I might have seen him tear up towards the end.

Anyway, the brought the movie home and nothing was said about it much. John had already told me what a great movie it was..wholesome family values..blah blah. Several days went by and I casually handed it to Brooks when he wanted to watch a movie.

” Hey your dad said this was a great movie and that you would really like it.”

“What’s it about?”

“I think it’s about a boy and his hunting dog or something. All I know is that he spends a lot of time in the woods and probably gets to shoot a gun.”

“Awesome. Kinda like Davy Crockett?”


He takes the movie upstairs and I don’t hear from him for the next hour.

I”m folding laundry and keeping kids out of the toilet and generally just being superwoman. The next thing I know, I am hearing the sound of a kid stomping down the stairs and looking a whole lot like this :

This picture is years old, but you get the idea.

He. was. freaking. out.

Sobbing doesn’t even begin to describe it. I jump up and try to access the situation.

“What the heck happened?”

“his…asdoijasdfrtuweroiun” (that’s the sound of hysterics typed out. you’re welcome)

“He did what?!”

“His his his dogs dogs dogs”

” OK.. slow down a minute. Come sit on my lap. Were you watching the movie?”

” uh huh”

“And his dogs did what??”

“MOM!!! His doggy’s died!”

“It did what!?!?!?” (I started cussing John completely out in my head)

Remember the fact that I “never” saw the movie?

Spoiler alert for all 5 people who have never seen the movie – THE BLASTED DOGS DIE!

I mean really! Who makes movies like that for kids?? As if Bambi wasn’t enough!

I met John in the driveway when he got home from work.

“Have you lost your mind?! What kind of person buys that kind of movie for a kid?”


“Where the Red Fern Grows! I sent Brooks upstairs to watch it today and he came down freaking out because the dogs die and I feel like the worst mom in the whole wide world!”

“You let him watch it??? ”

“Of course I did. You said that it would be a great movie for the kids. Something about good values and how much character the kid has. Really John? I’ve never seen it. How was I supposed to know?”

“You’ve never seen it? Are you even american? I was going to watch it with him!”

We went on like this for a while. I can’t think of a time where a felt like a worse mother. Like I literally fed him to the movie wolves. In retrospect, I should have googled it or something. I still can’t get his poor face out of my mind.

John, like he always does, came in and made the situation better. They loved on each other for a while and I guess had some sort of Red Fern moment. Like a rite of passage of sorts.

All I know is that I am never trusting his movie choices again.

Or at least the ones he makes with Bobby Taylor.

Classic, wonderful movie my booty.