Contributor Nancy Scott – The Great Pumpkin Caper

One Halloween, before popular plastic and ceramic decorations, I talked my father into carving a pumpkin.  Being a bossy eight-year-old, I had carving requirements.  It had to have teeth I could feel.  Carving teeth showed great talent, I was sure.

My father took the bait and created a seven-toothed, smiling jack-o’-lantern (I was smart enough not to ask why it didn’t have eight teeth).  We proudly perched this artistic brilliance, complete with candle, to be lit Halloween night, on our front porch railing post.  Back then, it was safe to leave things on porches.

Two nights before Trick-or-Treat, my father, brother and I were in the living room watching hockey (Remember when there was only one television in the house?).  Bashing, penalties, and more bashing were, according to my father, was the best part of hockey.  In a lull or commercial break, he looked out the window.  “You aren’t going to believe this,” he exploded. “Someone stole our pumpkin!”   My father was upset enough to turn off the hockey game.

After an hour discussing what kind of person would steal a jack-o’-lantern, we decided it was a compliment.  They liked it so much they had to have it.  They were evil, but they had good taste.

TV back on, we resigned ourselves to an empty porch post, until my father looked out again.  “You really won’t believe this.  They brought it back!”

Our pumpkin, candle obviously used, was back on the post.

“They borrowed it,” I said.  “They knew it was the best pumpkin in the neighborhood and we needed it back for Trick-or-Treat.  It’s the teeth.”

My father never carved any more pumpkins.  He wisely quit while he could brag about the head.

Comments are closed.