Simon and his cohorts walk 1000 turkeys from Missouri to Colorado. 18 year old Simon Green is not known for his brains, having taken 3rd grade four times. However, one day he has a novel idea. Here in Missouri there is no market for turkeys, who sell for 25 cents apiece. However, in Denver, Colorado people will pay $5 for a nice juicy bird. Since Simon has no plans for the summer, he decides to walk 1000 turkeys from Missouri to Colorado. He bids farewell to his aunt and uncle, who are not sad to see him go, and after enlisting the help of Mr. Peece, an experienced driver, they set off.
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On the way they meet Jabeth, a runaway African slave who joins their party. The traveling goes smoothly until Simon meets his long lost father, Samson, who seems more interested in the turkeys' value than his own son. Simon turns down his offer to join them, but the next day Sampson tracks them down and steals their entire herd, exchanging fatherly words of advice as he ties Simon up. Simon returns the favor a few days later, resteals his turkeys, and resumes his journey.
Their adventures continue as they march through Indian Territory and meet a tribe of Indians. In return for trespassing, Simon reluctantly gives some of his precious turkeys to them. He loses several more turkeys to thieving townspeople and trigger happy soldiers, but still has a considerable flock left.
They continue their trek through a barren prairie, where they meet Lizzy, who accompanies them and utilizes her common sense and business sense. Simon likes her and eventually proposes; she accepts.
Finally, Simon, Lizzie, Jabeth, Mr. Peece, and almost all the turkeys arrive in Denver, where they sell for not $5, but $6 each. Rather than take their share of the money and leave, the group decides to start another financial venture.
Best part of story, including ending:
Their adventures are believable but humerous.
Best scene in story:
When Simon's dad comes to steal the turkeys, he is riding a camel stolen from the circus. Even the situation is grim, the thought of camels is the middle of the Midwest is laughable.
Opinion about the main character:
Simon's clumsiness is funny when compared to the large task he has set for himself.