Billy swallows hard, and Grandpa comes over to him as the Pritchards get in their wagon and drive off.
Grandpa: It makes me mad … folks like that gittin’ such a fine hound. Sure as I’m alive, that dog will end up as mean as they are.
Grandpa eyes Billy’s gloomy face.
Grandpa: I would’ve bought him for you myself, Billy, if I could have.
Billy tries to hold back the tears.
Grandpa: But never mind … one of these days, you’ll have your own hounds.
Billy: I don’t know, Grandpa. Sometimes I don’t think God wants me to have any.
Grandpa: Now, why do you say a thing like that?
Billy: Well, I’ve been asking him for dogs as long as I can remember and nothin’s happened yet!
Grandpa: Maybe you haven’t done your fair share.
Billy: What do you mean?
Grandpa: Well, it’s been my experience God helps those who help themselves. Now, don’t get me wrong. If God wanted to, he could give you hounds as easy as cuttin’ lard. But that wouldn’t do much for your character.
Billy: I don’t want character! I want dogs!
Grandpa: And if you want them bad enough, you’ll get them, Billy. And if you want God’s help bad enough, you’ll meet him half way.
Billy looks at his grandfather with a puzzled expression.
Later, Billy walks thoughtfully across the countryside.
Narrator (Billy as older man): I thought a long time about what Grandpa had told me … about meetin’ God halfway. Though I wasn’t quite sure what he meant, I was willin’ to do anything to get myself some hounds. I was just plain tired of all the heartachin’.