Early morning during the above freezing February air,Richard,Gus and Pa went to dear hunting.Pa bet Richard was going to get his first deer on that day.However, Richard delibarately misfired to avoid killing the beautiful young buck.Gus tried to encourage his brother to more sociable and scolding him for missing the shot.
Gus was active in sports meanwhile Richard loves farming.After dinner,Pa nad Gus started talk about sports.Richard went to the kitchen to help his sister Angie who has taking care of the house after their mother die.Pa and Gus always took it for granted.Richard explained to Pa that he did nit have the right to kill the animals.Pa confessed that he grieving everytime he shot an animal.In past eye,maybe he was remembering his wife or his brother ,Roland who was killed in a war in Cuba.Richard felt satisfied after he shared his feeling with Pa.
Richard went to his room,and took a piece of paper and pen and started writing a poemabout How a Deer been killed and he put it in the drawer on top of other poemsand he did not want anyone to know about it.
The snow has come to an end.The school has started again in the month of April.America declares war on Germany.One morning,Richard's English teacher,Mrs Hansen,tells the class that a famous poet,Joyce Kilmer has just volunteered for army service in the ongoing world war.She reads a poem entitled "Tree" written by Joyce Kilmer to the class,Richard is fascinated by the beauty of the simple poem.Richard borrows Mrs Hansen poetry book and secretly jotted down the New Yorks Time editors office address .On the way back home.Richard meets Hannah Schermers,the preety girl of German crying in the hallway because someone had returned her "dirty hun"on her book cover.
Richard confronts his classmates who then reveal their hatred toward Germans.After back home,Richard decide to write to Mr Kilmer ,he introduces himself and tels him that he likes his simple poems and shares about his secret poetry writing.He sents the letter to the New York Times
A terrible incident has happen at the tavern own by Hannah Schermers parents.It has been vandelised.To insteal good values in students,Mrs Hansen encourags her students to sign a card to expressing their sympathy for Hannah and her family.Mrs Hansen shocked at the protest by more vocal student and the culture of fear created by the class bullies which stop some sincere students from signing.In the end,only Richard sign the card.Richard action caused the students taunt him for supporting the German.Richard approaches his teacher and asked for the card and he want to personally delivered it to the Schermers.Abruptly,Richard was attacked by Abner and Harry but he manages to win the fight.Richard feels terrible as he wals home and keep pondering about the people of TurtleLake.On his way home,he climbs an old oak tree to watch a train pass by.He sees passanger happily travelling.As he reaches home,Angie running excitedly towards him with news that he has received a letter from New York.It is from Joyce Kilmer.
Joyce Kilmer letter to Richard consists plane simple answer and advice.He encourages him to pursue his poetic dreams with courage and confidence.He invite Richards to write again and sent him one of his poem.That night, Richard tried to be braved to share about the letter to his family.Pa,Gus and Angie didn't show any axcitement and they do not know who Joyce Kilmer is.
Richard went to his room to reply Mr Kilmer's letter.Gus comes to the room and teases Richard on his sissy poems.Gus also advices him to try to fit in with his friends.
Next morning Richard oes to see Mrs Hansen to tell her about the letter.She is very impressed.Richards shows her a few of his favourite poems and she helps to select one to sent to Mr Kilmer.Mrs Hansen encourages him to share the letter to the class but Richard is not ready yet.Richard meets Hannah right after he cames out from Mrs Hansen room.She apologised Richard on what she has done the last time they met.She als shares her feeling and problems with Richard.Richard climbes the oak tree again and sees the train with a load of merry soldiers ontheir way to war.Richard is sad thinking about Mr Kilmer and Otto,the Hannah's brother.