Why does Lyddie not go to stay at Aunt Clarissa's farm?

Lyddie does not want to go to Aunt Clarissa and Uncle Judah's farm with her family because she wants to maintain her family's own farm for the day her father returns. For Lyddie, the farm symbolizes her hope that her father will come home, and she wants to keep his dream alive.

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After a black bear invades the family's cabin in Katherine Paterson's novel Lyddie, Lyddie's mother decides that the time has come for them to leave the farm and go to live with her sister and brother-in-law, Clarissa and Judah. Mama believes that her husband will never come back and that if they don't go to Clarissa's, the family's next stop will be the township poor farm.

Lyddie, however, makes the decision to stay behind. "I can't leave the farm," she insists. They can sell the pig to pay for coach fare for Mama, the two little girls, and Charles, but Lyddie argues that there would not be enough to pay for her as well. This is just an excuse, however, and Lyddie knows it, for the sale of the pig will also pay for Charles's return trip.

Actually, Lyddie does not want to go to Aunt Clarissa and Uncle Judah's farm because she feels a strong sense of responsibility to keep her father's dream alive. He bought his farm and worked hard to make it prosper. While luck was never with him, Lyddie holds on to his dream and makes it her own. Further, she hopes against hope that her father will come back some day, and she is determined that when he does, the farm will be there waiting for him in as good of shape as possible. For Lyddie, to give up on the farm or to leave it would be to let go of the hope that her father will come home.

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