The case of the missing pumpkin

Monday morning our pumpkin was missing.

Having been recently the victim of thieves, I assumed the worst. Our happy little inflated jack-o-lantern had been kidnapped and was being held for ransom at an undisclosed location, probably a spooky barn.

I called my husband who laughed, blamed the wind, and had to take another phone call. Clearly I was on my own.

Given that Jack, as we called him, was just a ten dollar inflatable, (not the one in this picture, which is probably a relative) I couldn’t imagine the ransom would be much. But it would be much more satisfying to track down his kidnappers and bring them to justice.

I’ve been a traditionalist when it comes to pumpkins. We’ve always gone out, way too early, and bought pumpkins for carving. We’d think up wild designs, like entire scenes from movies as we drove home with our orange spheres. Then, after an hour of scraping out the innards of three pumpkins, we’d scale back.

No wonder most pumpkins only have eyes, nose and a mouth.

At the end of the process we’d have a trio of pumpkins with various grimaces. We tossed in a few tea lights, invariably turning at least one set of teeth black. The trio then started to decompose so quickly by Halloween they were very frightening in a viral kind of way.

Jack, on the other hand, hissed quietly, glowed without issueing black smoke, and did not decompose. The kids loved him.

How would I break the news to them? That some terrible people, had kidnapped sweet, hissing Jack? Would they freak out and refuse to sleep?

Of course I could use this as a teaching moment. We could discuss the problem of crime, and how it’s important to turn the other cheek, or veggie, as it were. Or since no ransom note was appearing on our mailbox, we could go all CSI on the case and look for clues as to where Jack had been taken, study soil samples, tracks and do a little research.

That was it. I knew what I had to do. I had to go to the store and buy another one of those things.

Fortunately as I was headed out, I spotted a pile of orange nylon. It was Jack, who apparently had been blown there by the wind.

Or, he had escaped his kidnappers. We’ll never know.