It was a cool, partly cloudy October afternoon. With less than a week left before Halloween, the local pumpkin patch was full of girls looking for the last-minute pumpkin. There weren’t many left to choose among so late in the month!
This makes the search easier, of course, but it still can seem overwhelming just at first. How to know which pumpkin is the right one?
Jade was wise. She knew that finding the right pumpkin is not so much a matter of finding the “perfect” one as letting a pumpkin call to her. She wandered around happily, enjoying the crinkly crunch of the dead vines underfoot, the sound of her friend’s voices carried on the breeze, and the cool whiffs of autumn in the air.
Gaby walked slowly through the patch, her eyes catching every spot of orange among the green and brown leaves. She didn’t want to miss anything!
But what was this?
It looked like the perfect one! Gaby carefully picked up the pumpkin with both hands, not using the stem. She knew (as all good girls know) that a broken stem can leave a pumpkin homeless and unwanted.
She examined it all over: no soft spots anywhere. It was nice and round and not too big. Perfect!
Yep! This was it, she was sure!
Her other friends were still searching. Tabitha had caught sight of a pumpkin that just might be the right one: large and very round, just the way she liked. Perfect for carving!
But Jane took her time. She stood in one spot, raking the patch with her eyes. She took picking out a pumpkin pretty seriously. “It’s fate,” she had explained to her friends the night before. “Like falling in love. You can’t rush it. It’s important to feel sure.”
Finally, her eyes settled on a spot of orange in the corner. She called Gaby over.
“It think this is my pumpkin. See, it was over here all by itself. Poor thing! It’s been waiting for me all this time!”
Meanwhile, Rain, Natalie and Jade had gathered together in the other corner of the patch.
“Look at this one!” said Rain. “It’s huge!”
“And what a beautiful color!” added Natalie.
“I love those bumpy ridges,” said Jade. “That’s my favorite kind of pumpkin.”
“It’s too big, though,” said Rain. “I don’t think we can pick it up.”
“Sure we can!” said Jade. “We just need more help!” Jade called Tabitha over.
“That is quite a pumpkin,” said Tabitha in her quiet Welsh accent.
“Will you help us carry it?” asked Natalie. “It would be perfect for our party!”
Sure enough, the four girls were able to carry the pumpkin together. They brought it over to the scales at the edge of the patch.
“What’s this one?” asked Jade.
“It’s my pumpkin,” said Natalie. “Isn’t it such a pretty color? Look, it has stripes!”
Tabitha and Jane compared their pumpkins. They had both chosen smooth round ones.
“It’s funny how pumpkins make us feel happy,” said Natalie, when everyone was gathered together. “Why do you think that is?”
“Because they’re so nice and round,” said Tabitha promptly.
“Because they’re nice to hold,” said Gaby.
“Because they need us. Because we’re meant to be together.” said Jane.
“I think it’s because they’re orange! Orange is a happy color!” said Rain. She shivered. It was getting on toward dusk, and her favorite orange skirt wasn’t very warm.
“Let’s bring our pumpkins home and show Ali!” she said. “Then we can wash them and start setting up for our party!”
To be continued….
Photos were taken in our vegetable patch. Jade is a Maplelea Jenna doll; Gaby is a red-headed Schildkroet doll; Jane is a My American Girl #53 doll; Rain is an American Girl Just Like You #11 doll; Natalie is a Via E Alexis doll; Tabitha is a Bonnie and Pearl doll.