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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

So The Pumpkin Said To The Scarecrow…

Autumn-CountryLife-FarmLife-ShortStory 1

*Sigh*…Autumn-CountryLife-FarmLife-ShortStory 2

Autumn-CountryLife-FarmLife-ShortStory 3“What’s wrong Peter Pumpkin, something got your gourd?” snickered Scotty Scarecrow.

“Nah…I guess…well, it’s just…”, Peter Pumpkin tried to say, swallowing hard, mid-sentence, as if a big ol’ lump of pumpkin pulp got stuck in his throat.

“Spit it out, minus the seeds, will ya?” said Scotty, stifling this time the urge to chortle.

“Well geez, all the bigger pumpkins have been sold already in Farmer Brown’s pumpkin patch, all, that is, except for me.”, Peter said with such an orangey forlorn look.

“Ah, Peter, it happens, huh? Maybe you were just too big, too beautiful-even, so Farmer Brown made you a hefty price? Maybe you are the Gauguin of Gourds and nobody could afford you.” offered Scotty.

“Yeah…maybe.” Peter sighed, not really buying into the Big Bling excuse.

“Listen, sure, you’re the last big one, the last best looking, all firm and perfectly symmetrical in all your pumpkin perfection; but there’s a truckload of other pumpkins all lying around you, it’s not like you’re all alone and abandoned here. I’m still here too, and no one is going to buy me. Look at the state I’m in, all shrivelled up and ragged clothes, I’m a scarecrow only my Mother could love.”, Scotty offered, in his feign attempt to bolster up the spirits of his pouty, pulpy friend.

“Yeah. but, Scotty, that is how you’re supposed to look. If there were a sale on scary scarecrows, you’d be the FIRST to be sold too, and you know it.” …*sigh*

“Peter, it’s not always about being popular, you know, someone has to look over Farmer Brown, make sure he’s okay there in the barn at night. Heck, he even hung this lantern on me so I could help him make his way safely back to the farm house when he’s done feeding the horses and milking the cows. My job is important…and so is yours.” stated Scotty.

“Yeah, but what’s MY job if no one buys me? Why am I here? Why was I grown then? No children to carve me up for Halloween, no Mothers picking me up for a Harvest Time adornment. I’ll just sit here and rot…useless…no point to me at all.” Peter spit out, seemingly seedless, mind you, choking back his tangy tears.

“Farmer Brown loves all of his livestock, the ones with four legs and the ones not so much. He knows you’re worth everything to him, isn’t that enough for you? It should be.” insisted Scotty.

And Scotty added, “And as far as I’m concerned, look at how sad I would be if you weren’t below me, especially at night. No one to talk to about my cares and woes, no one at all, for it seems your lowlier pumpkin pals didn’t grow the chat gene. And when I’m sad, I droop even more, and that would mean that Farmer Brown could never hang this lantern on me, it would just fall off if he tried, and that would mean he’d have no light to guide his way back home. If something happened to him, we’d all perish. You keep me happy, I keep Farmer Brown safe, we live a very peaceful and contented life here on the Farm. If no one buys you, you are still the most important pumpkin in this patch…to me, to Farmer Brown, to All of Us.”, Scotty cawed soberly, and with loveAutumn-CountryLife-FarmLife-ShortStory 4,

as Charlie, Cedric and Calvin Corn nodded in agreement from across the dirt road.

“Yeah, Peter, Scotty is right!” Charlie Corn blurted out, colonels of corn spewing in every direction onto the cold, hard ground as he did.

“If it weren’t for you, we’d all perish!”, the look of veggie fright on the mature husk as Charlie cried out.

Charlie must have spoken a wee bit too loud, for Farmer Brown yelled back, “Who’s out there? Anyone out there?”

Cedric and Calvin Corn swatted Charlie with their dried, crusty husks as they scolded, “Geez, watch it, will ya. Settle Petal. Any more ruckus and we’ll be caught by Farmer Brown and I can’t imagine the amount of shrink visits he would need if he caught us all yakking. Don’t think veggies are supposed to be able to talk, ya know?”

“Rrrright…thanks for the Heads Up.” softly chimed in Charlie. Scotty and Peter silently nodding in agreement.

“Listen, we’re all here to do very important jobs. Farms don’t run themselves, ya know? Sure, it looks all pastoral perfection but imagine if I weren’t here – Crow City it would be. Imagine if Farmer Brown had none of us to sell at all, no corn, no pumpkins, because the Crazy Crows had taken over. We help each other, we’re here for and because of each other. We’re a farm fraternity, we make the country as beautiful as it seems to the Outsiders, whether they “buy” Us or not.

Autumn-CountryLife-FarmLife-ShortStory 5*Creeeeeeeak* went the hinges on the single barn door as Farmer Brown closed up for the night. The golden glow from the many lanterns lit inside, extinguished now, the place, this pasture, all in darkness, save for the single lantern left alight on Scotty. Farmer Brown slowly sauntered down the dusty lane, a smoldering pipe in his mouth and a small wagon in tow, picking up his lantern from the arm of Scotty before making his way to the gate. But before he left the pumpkin patch, he bent down and plucked Peter from his vines and with a wide, satisfied smile, gently, oh, so gently, lifted him onto the wagon.

“Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm, said Farmer Brown. Is Betty, my one heck of a wonderful farmer’s wife, gonna be glad to see you! Oh, yeah, she’s got great plans for you, Mr. Pumpkin Head – pumpkin pies, pumpkin loaves, hot pumpkin soups, she’ll dry and salt your seeds for delicious pumpkin seed snacks, and then she’ll carve you up but good and sit you high and wide on our big picture window sill to attract the last of this Season’s veggie-buying citified crowd. We are so lucky you grew so well, Mr. P. H., it’ll make a perfect end to a perfect Harvest Sale for Us All this year.”

With utter astonishment on his firmly ripened face and the glowing wide-mouthed cracking grins of his buddies - Scotty Scarecrow, Charlie, Cedric and Calvin Corn - all looking on, off went Peter Pumpkin to his rarefied Destiny. The gang, now left behind, seen only with the cool glow from the Harvest Moon, quietly waved Goodbye and a Fare Thee Well with their crispy dried-leafed hands to their pumpkin patch pal , so utterly thrilled that all had worked out for Peter in the end.

“Peter was one uptight pumpkin alright.”, Scotty said to the gang once Farmer Brown was out of earshot. “Worrying and fretting over nothing, Peter did. That’s what you get when farmers spill out the last of their cold coffee, on a pumpkin patch, on their way to and from the Barn. Caffeine is a buggar on the nerves!”

Autumn, Country Life, Farm Life, Short Story

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