Favorite Quotes from 'Old Yeller'(1956) by Fred Gipson

From the Classic Book About a Boy and His Heroic Dog, Old Yeller

Old Yeller

Steve Scott/flickr 

Old Yeller (1956) is a beloved children's novel about a boy, Travis Coates, and his heroic dog, Old Yeller. The novel is a Newbery Honor book (1957) and won many awards over the following decade. It is the work for which author Fred Gipson is best known, and Disney successfully adapted the story to the big screen. Below, we list some of the most significant quotes, as well as our personal favorites, from this short but powerful novel.  

Quotes from the Classic Children's Novel 'Old Yeller'

  • "He made me so mad at first that I wanted to kill him. Then, later, when I had to kill him, it was like having to shoot some of my own folks. That's how much I'd come to think of the big yeller dog." —Fred Gipson, Old Yeller, Chapter 1
  • "Still, they needed money, and they realized that whatever a man does, he's bound to take some risks." —Fred Gipson, Old Yeller, Chapter 1
  • "He was a big ugly, slick-haired yeller dog. One short ear had been chewed clear off and his tail had been bobbed so close to his rump that there was hardly stub enough left to wag." —Fred Gipson, Old Yeller, Chapter 2
  • " 'Now, Travis,' Mama said. 'You're not being fair. You had a dog when you were little, but Arliss has never had one. He's too little for you to play with, and he gets lonely.' " —Fred Gipson, Old Yeller, Chapter 2
  • " 'Arliss!' I yelled at Little Arliss. 'You get that nasty old dog out of our drinking water!' " —Fred Gipson, Old Yeller, Chapter 3
  • "I knew then that I loved him as much as I did Mama and Papa, maybe in some ways even a little bit more." —Fred Gipson, Old Yeller, Chapter 6
  • "After all that, I guess you can see why I nearly died when a man rode up one day and claimed Old Yeller." —Fred Gipson, Old Yeller, Chapter 7
  • "Shoot anything that acts unnatural, and don't fool around about it. It's too late after they've already bitten or scratched you." —Fred Gipson, Old Yeller, Chapter 8
  • "A boy, before he really grows up, is pretty much like a wild animal. He can get the wits scared clear out of him today and by tomorrow have forgotten all about it." —Fred Gipson, Old Yeller, Chapter 9
  • "But we were too smart, Old Yeller and I." —Fred Gipson, Old Yeller, Chapter 9
  • "I reached in and let him lick my hand. 'Yeller,' I said, 'I'll be back. I'm promising that I'll be back.' " —Fred Gipson, Old Yeller, Chapter 10
  • "Papa had left me to look after things. But now I was laid up, and here was a girl handling my work about as good as I could." —Fred Gipson, Old Yeller, Chapter 13
  • "It was a good thing for us, Son; but it wasn't good for Old Yeller." —Fred Gipson, Old Yeller, Chapter 15
  • " 'That was rough,' he said. " 'That was as rough a thing as I ever heard tell of happening to a boy. And I'm mighty proud to learn how my boy stood up to it. You couldn't ask any more of a grown man.' " —Fred Gipson, Old Yeller, Chapter 16