Friday, October 5, 2007

Lessons from a Little Pumpkin

The Littlest Pumpkin by R.A. Herman is one of those stories that has an ending that's different then you thought it might be.

The Pumpkin Stand closes for the night after Mr. Bartlett's busy day of selling 18 pumpkins. It's dark and he's outside sweeping. A customer pulls up in a car to buy a pumpkin. A little boy runs out "Please wait," says Sam. I need a pumpkin for my party tonight."

The first time reader is sure the littlest pumpkin is going home. There are only two pumpkins left. The cute little one and the bruised one. Why would anyone want the bruised one? Although earlier, Mr. Bartlett sold a very odd bumpy one. The little boy decides on the bruised one and the littlest pumpkin is left all alone. Or so she thought.....

The mice in the house turn her into a Jack O Lantern and all her dreams come true on Halloween night.

This is the kind of story that reminds us that when things look hopeless, it doesn't mean that they are. Sometimes when we are the last pumpkin standing, we can be sure there is a something special ahead. Also, being little doesn't mean we are going to be 'left out.'

Jack O Lanterns only last a couple of days, but for some reason they make children so happy. The whole ordeal---picking out a pumpkin, drawing the face, watching the carving, eating toasted salty seeds, admiring the flickering candle, and finally seeing them rot and collapse. They love the entire process!

If you want to do a virtual carve go to and look for the Pumpkin in the end of the first row. Click on this, then pick a pumpkin. This is one cool site for children who want to play with words and sounds.

The picture above is my son Mike so many Halloweens ago that it's--- spooky!

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