Dear Wilson Rawls

December 19, 2007
By Megan McLaughlin, Auburn, NY

Dear Wilson Rawls,

Just like a sacred red fern, an angel planted this book. This book has spoken to me in ways no author to this day has done before. You made me discover feelings I never thought was possible from a book alone, made me look in my own life and see if I ever had the compassion Billy had for his dogs. Where the Red Fern Grows has changed the way I now look at things, how things can be right under your nose and you can never discover what you have inside you until you have a real magnifying glass.

For the first time in my life, I cried. The warm tears ran down my face as I could no longer hold them I my eyes. I without hesitation, I read the words in the only book that touched me so deeply it made my emotions uncontrollable. This masterpiece you wrote, about a simple story with a boy and his dogs, really shook my senses and woke them up from my body, which held them in for so long. It takes a powerful story to do this for anyone, to make them feel so inspired they feel they can accomplish anything. Thank you for letting me feel this; after I read the last words in your book I longed for more; I was so happy that this unknown, invisible weight on my shoulders was lifted; I finally discovered what compassion, hard work, and bravery was and how I would want them in my life.

I would soon come to know that I would try and face the same feelings I had in the book, for something I had to face in real life. What I thought I had to look for, was nothing I had to look for at all, it was coming towards me like a train. Just before I reached my goal of finishing your book, I got the worst phone call of my life. My mother crying told me of my sixteen year old best friend Sarah, who was in a car accident with a bus; she was dead. The words to this day put chills up my spine, different kinds of tears form on my face. The pain sometimes is unbearable to deal with. Hands down this is the hardest moment of my life.
What I learned in your book helped me in a way to get through everything after that moment. I have to now be brave facing my internal demons, forcing myself not to cry whenever I think about Sarah. Just like Billy did when Little Ann and Old Dan died. To be brave and help not only myself but my friends get through this tragic event. I learned how much I truly am lucky and how to love with the deepest compassion for everyone in my life. To say a simple I love you to the ones I really do love, for they could be gone tomorrow. Finally, with hard work and help with my friends, and family that we can let Sarah live on to this day with benefits, concerts, scholarships and what ever comes to our minds. As like Billy when he collected seventy-five dollars in two years to buy his dogs. Thank you Mr. Rawls for this fantastic book that has truly changed my life. For a book that has shook me at the core, heart and soul. For a book that took a simple story with a deep meaning, and made me would I am today. Thank you.

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