In "A Reward for Josefina," Josefina longs for praise from Tia Dolores. Her chance comes when the family harvests pinon nuts. But Josefina fears her chance is lost when she must stay behind to watch her nephew. Then a squirrel helps Josefina get more than one reward.
After you read Josefina's story, learn how to make a pastel, or pastry, like one Josefina might have enjoyed.
A Reward for Josefina" is the first Josefina short story that was published. It is set in the Fall shortly after Tia Dolores's arrival to Josefina's family, possibly putting it shortly before or during the time period in "Josefina Learns a Lesson". Tia Dolores is a new adult in the family, and Josefina desperately wants her to think of Josefina as being special. The family and their hired hands go out to gather piÃ±on nuts (pine nuts from a Pinon tree), and as a motivator, a reward is offered to the one who gathers the most. Josefina hopes it will be her, until she is left behind to tend to her oldest sister's two young sons. Josefina and her three year old nephew, Juan, find a way to gather the biggest treasure of nuts without leaving their camp site. Somehow, the reward, a cone of sugar, has run off with a squirrel (in exchange for the nuts?), but Josefina finds the reward that she is looking for.