Once upon a chill autumn night in the town of Harvest Hollow, three little friends named Jack, Patty, and Gus were preparing for the much-anticipated Halloween celebration. Each of them held a part of a pumpkin shell, remnants of their earlier pumpkin carving activities.
Jack, the eldest of the three, held the top of a large, once round and golden pumpkin. His eyes twinkled with the spirit of Halloween as he began to recite the story of the first pumpkin ghost.
“Did you guys know about the pumpkin ghost who lived in Farmer Brown’s field?” he asked. “Oh, it was a magnificent pumpkin, as big and yellow as the harvest moon. But a boy took it home one day, carved a grinning face on it and used it as a jack-o’-lantern for Halloween.”
“But once the Halloween night was over,” Jack continued, shaking his head sadly, “the poor pumpkin was left alone, discarded outside in the cold. Its spirit now haunts the field, waiting to find a new home each Halloween.”
Patty, the second of the trio, smiled as she continued the tale. She held a smaller shell, the skin thin and almost translucent. “Well, I know of another pumpkin spirit, one that grew by our old pasture gate. It wasn’t the largest pumpkin, but it was filled with sweetness.”
“One Halloween,” she sighed, “someone took it and baked it into a delicious pie. It was so tasty that nothing remained but its thin rind. And now, its spirit haunts the old pie dishes, adding extra sweetness to each pumpkin pie we bake every Halloween.”
Lastly, it was Gus’s turn, the youngest and most excitable of the three. He held a shell from a pumpkin that had been canned, a fate he considered most unfair. “And then there’s the spirit of the canned pumpkin,” he began, his small voice solemn.
“It never got a chance to become a pie or a jack-o’-lantern to light the land. Instead, it was loaded into a big wagon, taken to a factory, and canned!” He concluded his part of the story with a shudder.
The trio looked at each other, their pumpkin shells casting eerie shadows in the moonlight. And as they went off to bed, their heads shaking dolefully, they couldn’t help but spare a thought for the pumpkin ghosts whose stories they had just told, whose spirits now added magic to their favorite Halloween traditions.