When magic happens at the gardens

Once upon a time there was a part-accidental pumpkin patch at the community gardens. It sprawled and crawled, and sprawled and crawled some more, covering the grass. The pumpkin flowers opened, and excited volunteer gardeners watched the female flowers blossom into small fruit surrounded by wilting petals. The fruit grew and grew, hidden under the hairy leaves.They grew some more, almost every day. But you had to look, with your seeing eyes, to find them sometimes.

One day a gardener with a big grey hat spotted a big pumpkin, a middle-sized pumpkin and a baby pumpkin. It was so exciting. Three pumpkins together.

The grey-hatted gardener kept watch on Tuesdays and Fridays. And another gardener – with a red beanie – came on Mondays to check out the pumpkins. The two gardeners asked the community garden members, at a get together, when the pumpkins would be ready to harvest. ‘A while yet’, they said. ‘When the skin colour changes’.

Later, one unexpected Wednesday, a little mouse came along. It crawled and rustled around under the leaves and accidentally bumped into the pumpkins. It decided to explore the big, curvy object with thick skin. He reached his nose and feet up as far as he could and bit through the skin. He had another nibble. This pumpkin was delicious! The mouse – whose name was Mickey – ate so much of the pumpkin his tummy became full. He decided he would come back soon for another feed. (He later did an orange poo and was so full he had to sleep for a while).

It was Thursday. The grey-hatted volunteer garden checked the produce in the garden – rosellas, basil, eggplants, coriander, strawberries, herbs and passionfruit… and then the pumpkins. One was half chewed up!

She grabbed some secateurs from the shed and quickly cut the stems of the two whole pumpkins. She wanted to rescue them from predators. Where should I put them, she wondered.

Then she remembered some of the other volunteers had worked on the pizza oven at the weekend. We could have pumpkin pizzas, she thought. Maybe I should put them inside the oven for safekeeping so we can all share them?

The grey-hatted volunteer was happy with her rescue. She sat down, had a cup of steaming tea and a ginger nut. She put a note up to on the chalk board: ‘Pumpkins ready for sharing’.

Sadly, in the quiet, after she left, the two pumpkins realised they missed their smaller friend. They sat there very quietly, hoping Mickey couldn’t find them under cover of the pizza oven. They wanted so much to be a beautiful food offering for the kind gardening people who tended them.

That night, under the stars, a magic transformation took place. The full moon and stars saw the pumpkins and lit them up with magic light. They were turned into one very large and magic special pumpkin for all the people at the community gardens to share on a pizza.

Thank you pumpkins!

Thank you Sharon Co Images for the photos that inspired this story about pumpkins