Fred the Pumpkin

Mrs. Gilley, Sarah’s six grade teacher, gave five pumpkin seeds to each student of her class. Each child was to take them home and attempt to grow pumpkins by the time Halloween arrived. Sarah carefully planted hers, with the help of her mother, in a small area of her mother’s garden plot. Each day, Sarah would go out with a watering can and water the spot where she had planted the seeds.

One day, she noticed small sprigs of green coming up. There were five in all. So all of her seeds had started. For months, Sarah diligently took care of her five little pumpkin plants. They grew and spread. Then flowers grew onto the vines, and then little pumpkins. Sarah was overjoyed.

The pumpkins grew larger. One in particular grew very large. By the time October rolled around, Sarah had several pumpkins. Sarah’s large pumpkin was quite huge by the time it was ready to take to school and show the class. It was so heavy that Sarah’s father had to carry it for her.

When the pumpkins were put on display, everyone was amazed at how huge Sarah’s pumpkin was. Everyone was supposed to carve a face on their pumpkin but Sarah had grown attached to her’s. She had even given it a name. She called him Fred. She did not want to hurt Fred.

Mrs. Gilley pondered the problem. Finally a boy in the class, Henry, suggested Sarah paint a face on the pumpkin so it wouldn't be hurt. Each student thought this was a wonderful idea and they too, decided to paint faces instead of carving the pumpkins. The project was a big success. When Halloween rolled around, Mrs. Gilley’s classroom was the most decorated in the entire school.

After Halloween the children took their pumpkins home. Sarah’s mother explained to Sarah that Fred would rot away as he aged. This made Sarah very sad. Her mother suggested that they make Fred into a pie instead of letting him rot. Sarah agreed to this. So she and her mother made a large pumpkin pie together out of Fred.

On the next school day, Sarah took paper plates and plastic forks to school, along with Fred the pie, and a knife to cut the pie with, and a spatula to serve it up. The children and Mrs. Gilley had a wonderful pumpkin pie party.

Sarah had saved the seeds from Fred and she gave these dried seeds to Mrs. Gilley to give out to her next year’s class. But Sarah kept a few of the seeds for herself. She wanted to grow another Fred when it was time for planting again.

By Sharon (

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