Jack o' Lantern Pie by Blanchie Elizabeth Wade

 Jack o' Lantern Pie by Blanchie Elizabeth Wade

Once upon a time there was a pumpkin— Oh, no! Once upon a time there was a great, green sprawling vine that grew in the garden——— But, no, again! I‘ll have to go back farther than the vine, after all; for there never could have been a pumpkin nor a great green sprawling vine growing in the garden if first of all,’ once upon a time, there had not been a seed!
Once upon a time, then, there was a seed. It was a pumpkin-seed, and you know what that looks like. It is flat, and pointed at each end, shaped much like a Chinaman‘s eye; and it is white and hard, and not so very large. If you know what a watermelon-seed looks like, you will know the shape and about the size of the pumpkin-seed.
This pumpkin-seed was planted in a little hilled-up mound in the brown earth of the garden, and one day sprouted up as a two-leaved plant; and then from the centre of the two leaves, other leaves of a different shape from the first came, and by-and-by a stem and more leaves, and soon the pumpkin-vine had started out upon its adventures in the garden. It grew about the mound, and did not try to climb up things, though it had little curly tendrils like a grape-vine's, and could reach back and catch hold of its own stem in places, and this held it in a solid mass better than as though it simply wandered about without sometimes doubling back upon its tracks.
Then the pumpkin-vine had buds. The buds swelled and became large rich-yellow lily-shaped or trumpet-shaped blossoms, and even the bumblebees came down to bumble into the golden cups, and find the honey. I do not know what pumpkinblossom honey tastes like, but I am sure it must be good or the bumblebees and the honey-bees would not trouble themselves to come after it.
When the blossoms were gone, there were small yellowish-green round things in their places—and these were baby pumpkins. They lost the yellowish color after awhile, and were green. Then as they grew to big pumpkins, they became the richest dark-bright—if there is such a word—yellow you ever saw.
The pumpkins took a long time to grow to their full size, and they were long in coloring up, but it paid to take all summer to do it in, for when they really were ready for picking, they were gorgeous to look at.
Malcolm Dwigh-t’s father sold all but one of these great, fine pumpkins, and it seemed almost a pity, because all the Dwights liked pumpkins to use for pies and other things, as well as any one. Malcolm heard his father say he wished he had planted more, and that next year he would. The Dwight family had never been rich, nor even more than moderately well off. so when Mr. Dwight had so good a chance to sell his pumpkins at a high price, he could not let the chance go.
Malcolm teased and teased for a pumpkin for a Jack-o’-lantern; but with only one pumpkin left, of course it would have
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been too bad to use it for a plaything. Mother knew she could use the pumpkin for the good of all, in a much better way.
“Just wait,” said mother, “and we’ll see what we shall see!”
One day, she made the pumpkin into pies. They smelled good, too, when she was cooking the pumpkin; then all the seasoning, and sweetening, and things that make it so delicious that you always wish you could have at least two pieces, made it smell better still. Malcolm was so hungry when he smelled the pies baking, that he wished and wished he could have a whole pumpkin-pie some day for his very own.
Maybe you will be surprised when I tell you that his wish came true the same day he wished! When Malcolm sat down to dinner, he did not know it was coming true, and even up to the time dessert was passed he did not know. Every one had been given a piece of pie which was cut in the pantry—every one except Malcolm. His turn almost always had to be the very last in everything, because he was the only boy, and grown people and sisters must be served first.
When Mrs. Dwight came from the pantry with his plate, at last, she was smiling, and in her hand she held, not a plate with a triangle of pic on it such as the others had, but a square box. She set it down in front of Malcolm, and told him to take the cover off. Inside was something yellow.
“Careful, now,” said mother.
So carefully he lifted out the yellow thing—a thing in yellow crepe paper. Unwrapping the paper, he saw a round golden-yellow J ack-o’-lantern face grinning at him. A card on the side said,—
Dear Malcolm, lift my face, and fly
A piece of Jack-o’-lantern pie!
Malcolm lifted the paper face—exactly like a real Jack-o’-lantern’s—and underneath he saw a large round saucer filled with a large round piel When he found that the whole pie really was for him, and that the rest of the family had such large pieces themselves that they would not take even the smallest piece of his when he generously offered to pass it around, he thought, after all, it paid to give up his own way about a thing, especially when the giving up of a plaything like a Jack-0'-lantern turned into so fine a reward as a Jack-o'-lantern pie!