Smashing Pumpkins

mousekin.jpgDid you know that pumpkins are alive? I mean that they can think and have feelings, just like people. The baby Lizard Breath loved them. When she went with the GG to get pumpkins for her first Halloween, she said goodby to all the pumpkins they left behind. When they got home, the GG got out the big butcher knife and approached their chosen pumpkin. The baby lizard got more and more nervous as the knife approached her pumpkin. At just over one year, she didn’t have the words to articulate, “Don’t cut it!” She gasped in horror as he plunged the knife into the pumpkinhead! But her horror began to subside as a face emerged.

And then there was the year that Mouse caught me throwing an old jack-o-lantern into the compost. We always stuffed an orange prison suit with newpapers and propped it up on a stepladder. We put a jack-o-lantern on the top of the ladder with a bag of Christmas lights inside to light it up. The pumpkin was getting rotten and black inside and it was time. I knew I was in trouble though, so I did some fast talking about how the pumpkin was going to help the flowers grow in the spring. (Uh, never mind that I have a black thumb.)

This year we never got the dummy put up. Stuffing a prison suit with newspapers was just not a high priority. We had some jack-o-lanterns but instead of putting them in the compost, they ended up out on the curb next to the big piles of leaves. Today was the second and last leaf pickup day. Early this morning I saw the street sweeper chugging determinedly up Dexter toward our neighborhood. When I got home, they had already pushed my leaves into a big mountain in the middle of the street, along with our smashed up jack-o-lanterns.

Time starts going clickety-clack after Halloween. Thanksgiving is in a few days. Christmas comes all too soon and shortly after that, The Commander and I are both forced to celebrate another blasted birthday. For now, the leaves are gone, the street is ready for snow, and our old rotting pumpkins will help some flowers somewhere grow next spring. And, as you can see, there are some other good uses for old jack-o-lanterns.

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