Publisher: Progeny Press
Item #: E605
Level: Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3
When Faith's family packs their covered wagon for the long journey to California, there is no room for Faith's pet hen, Josefina. She is too old to lay eggs and too tough to eat; but Faith's father allows her to bring Josefina on the trip, provided that Josefina makes no trouble. As the wagon train begins the journey, Faith starts working on patches for a quilt that will tell the story of their trip.
In spite of Faith's promise to keep her pet out of trouble, Josefina nearly causes a stampede and falls in the river during a river crossing. Faith's father is ready to get rid of the chicken, but Josefina suddenly begins laying eggs again, and so she is allowed to stay.
Soon the voyage becomes harder and food more scarce. Although the Indians offer to trade meat and water for the family's quilts and Josefina, Faith and her mother refuse. Josefina proves her worth when two robbers creep into camp. The chicken's loud cackling wakes the family and the robbers run away; but the difficult journey has been hard on Faith's pet. Josefina dies and Faith buries her along the trail.
When the family reaches California, they take the patches made during the trip and stitch them into a quilt. The patches of the quilt remind Faith of the good times and the bad times on the wagon train, and especially of Josefina.