Posted on 2008-11-09
It was Halloween. Really it was 6 days before the spooky holiday, but it was time for families to trudge through pumpkin patches to purchase pumpkins so they could hollow out and carve said vegetable as to create Jack-O'-Lanterns. Among the families that were scouring The Gray Barn Farm's pumpkin patch was the Bingley family which included two daughters, ages 16 and 14, and a son that was the age of 15. After an hour of searching, Mrs. Bingley was getting upset at the lack of effort her children and husband were showing. They weren't the kind of family one would normally see plodding through mud, but perhaps that is because Halloween was one of two times a year that they would go through mud, the other time being Christmas when they searched for a tree. Another reason for them to not appear to be the sort of family that would sludge through mud was because, well, they were not. Mrs. Bingley cared about her appearances and dressed impeccably, even for this exertion she dressed with the utmost care. She wore designer jeans that were perfectly stuffed into her designer rain boots. She wore a dark green long-sleeved shirt and a spotless white vest. Mr. Bingley worked hard at his job resulting in raising his family's status from the average family to a distinguished, rich family. The daughters took after their mother wearing faultless outfits that belonged in clothing store magazines and make-up that was flawless. The only Bingley son stuck out of this family like a sore thumb. While clothing wise he was identical to the rest of the pack, he was wearing the latest male fashions, he was of a cheerful disposition and had a happy look that was permanently pasted on his face. Mrs. Bingley was getting upset since she wanted to get out of the pumpkin patch, but did not want lesser pumpkins to grace her porch.
Charles Bingley's happy look was threatening to waver after the last hour of torture he had been put through. He was trying, very hard, to find ‘his' pumpkin but all that were left had some imperfection and each time he thought he found one, he would show it to his mother who would veto it due to some flaw.
The daughters wandered around the patch following their mother around, being no help to anyone, and looking completely lost. Mr. Bingley watched this spectacle, dutifully following his wife around, pushing the wheelbarrow. Eventually Mrs. Bingley had enough of this lack of effort. "Next week is Halloween and I will not allow my porch to look worse than our pretentious neighbors, the Bennets. We need to find pumpkins that are worth our porch!" She exclaimed.
"Mother, we have been trying, it's just that all of the good pumpkins have been already taken," Charles tried to reason with his mother.
His mother turned slightly red and upset. One thing about Mrs. Bingley was that when she got upset some of what she said became incoherent. "We're, we're, we're pumpkin!" she exclaimed and marched off to look at more pumpkins. Her family exchanged amused looks and followed her, although, none dared to laugh outright at what she had said. Not long after this announcement, they each found ‘their own' pumpkin to carve, checked out, and drove home, in possession of five pumpkins.
Caroline Bingley, the youngest Bingley, continued to think of what her mother had said about being pumpkin long after the speech was forgotten by the rest of her family. She took it much more seriously and contemplated the wonders of the vegetable called pumpkin. ‘They are round and have a nice green stem. The seeds are delicious and I have heard that they are good for you. And pumpkin pie is good, as is pumpkin bread, and any food that has pumpkin in it, within a large moderation, of course. And to add to all of this they are a most fashionable color. A beautiful orange. There are not many colors better than pumpkin orange.'
When they reached the Bingley residence they carried their pumpkins in the house to carve. Caroline continued to be quiet, reflecting on pumpkins. When it came to her turn to carve her pumpkin Caroline could not bring herself to cut the beautiful object that sat on the table in front of her.
"Any time now, Caroline," her father said, impatiently.
"I won't cut it."
"If you won't I will. We need to get this done and you're last."
"But Father, I think the pumpkin is perfect the way it is," After spending some time arguing with her father about whether or not to cut her pumpkin, Caroline finally won, being allowed to keep her beloved pumpkin whole. When the family placed the pumpkins on their porch, something that Mrs. Bingley made sure that they did with perfection, Caroline's pumpkin was stuck in back hidden from view. This saddened the girl immensely, but she thought it something trivial if it meant that she could keep the vegetable complete.
Each day before Halloween, Caroline would end the day by sitting next to her pumpkin reflecting on its great beauty. The rest of her family thought her new obsession rather strange but did not comment on it as it was not as bad as it could be. The day of holiday finally came upon them and Caroline dressed all in orange for her costume, being for Halloween, the color orange. A trifle odd for a costume but she insisted. When Caroline came home from her friend's house where her group had congregated after hours of trick-or-treating, she whispered to her pumpkin, "Although I saw many pumpkins tonight, all of which were magnificent, I still think you to be the best of all," before entering her house.
The next morning Caroline was sent outside to get the newspaper for her father and to her dismay and despair she saw that her adored pumpkin had been smashed over night.
She ran to her room holding in tears, allowing herself to cry once she hit her bed. Caroline spent her entire day wallowing in her misery. She realized then that she had grown to love her vegetable.
The next Halloween Caroline got another pumpkin and once again kept it whole. Each year she continued to do this, growing to love each pumpkin for what they were, but not loving any like the pumpkin that she got when she was 14.
It was to no one's surprise that Caroline went to college for agriculture and that, after graduation, she opened a pumpkin farm. She became snotty about her pumpkins believing that no one's pumpkins could even compare with her own. For Halloween each year she would have a porch full of uncarved pumpkins. During the time of year that pumpkins would ripen and show growth, Caroline would lay in her pumpkin patch surrounded by her pumpkins contemplating the wonders of the world and her perfect pumpkins. Over the years Caroline's Pumpkin Patch became known as the place to go for superior pumpkins and if one was to have dinner at Caroline's house they expected to eat something that had pumpkin in it, somewhere.
"One of these days you are going to turn into a pumpkin," Louisa Hurst, Caroline's married elder sister said.
"If that were to happen I would not mind in the least. I love my pumpkins."
"It is a wonder that you're not married to one of your pumpkins," Louisa sarcastically replied.
"The only pumpkin in the world that I could ever marry was the one that I got when I was 14," Caroline seriously replied, "while that was not one of my superior pumpkins, I love that pumpkin the very most out of all of the pumpkins that I have ever had."
That night Caroline lay underneath the stars surrounded by her pumpkins wishing that she could have her true love back and that she could have lived with that pumpkin in pumpkin paradise, happily ever after. "But some things are not to be," she grumbled as she got up, dusted herself off, and went back into her house.The End