Old Yeller


Chapter 5 to Chapter 8

Chapter 5

Little Arliss is always a mess, bringing home with him whatever he can fit in his pockets. He used to have a habit of bringing home snakes, and one time when his mother told him to empty his pockets, he brought out a live copperhead, which almost gave his mother a heart attack. She ordered Travis to teach Arliss to kill snakes, but that didn’t stop Arliss. He would kill them first and then bring them home.

With Old Yeller’s help, Arliss would catch all sorts of game. Travis watches them one day as Old Yeller catches a blue catfish in Birdsong Creek. Arliss grabs the fish, gets finned, and bleeds all over the place, but still tells a fib about how he himself caught the fish and had to dive under a rock to get it. Travis insists that the yeller dog will make Arliss into the biggest liar on the settlement. Mama hushes Travis by telling him that he used to tell some pretty big lies when he was Arliss’ age, too. Mama seems to enjoy Arliss’ stories.

One day, Arliss tries to catch a bear cub. The mother bear hears the cub crying and charges Arliss. Arliss doesn’t realize the danger he is in and won’t let go of the cub. Both Mama and Travis hear Arliss at the same time and realize that he is about to be killed by the mother bear. Neither one of them is close enough to save him. Just at that moment, however, Old Yeller streaks out of the bushes and flies like a rocket right at the charging mother bear, saving Arliss’ life. Even though the bear is three times the size of the dog, Old Yeller doesn’t hesitate one second in defending Arliss.

Travis now scoops up Arliss and throws him to Mama, and then turns to bury his axe head into the bear. However, the yeller dog is still hanging from the bear’s throat and won’t let go. The bear would slap the dog away, and back the dog would fly, straight at the bear’s throat. They keep this up for a time until the dog “throws the fight” to the bear and retreats with Travis to the cabin.


Sign up to continue reading Chapter 5 to Chapter 8 >

Essays About Old Yeller