was a sunny Fall day, crisp and blue and gold. Kevin and his
friend Katie climbed onto the school bus, heading for the
Pumpkin Patch. They sat on the back bench and had fun
bouncing around. But Katie was grumpy. She didn't want to go
on the trip. She hated cold Fall weather and pumpkins and
bus parked at the farm.
There was an enormous pile of
orange pumpkins beside a wagon and
tractor. Everyone rushed for the wagon. Kevin
and Katie sat in the front as it headed
out. They watched the huge wheels
of the tractor bump slowly over ruts in
the dirt path. More bouncing! Then the tractor stopped.
either side long rows of pumpkins lay in
the dust, each in its own tangle of
vines. They were all different sizes and
shades of orange, with light brown
driver said the ones with stalks lasted
and Katie ran down the same dusty row. Kevin worried when bigger kids
ran past and grabbed the best
pumpkins. Soon Katie said she
didn't care anyway and picked up the
next one on the ground.
Kevin kept looking.
was up and Kevin was still empty handed. He ran faster.
Then he saw one the
others had missed. It was small and a clear orange
in color, with a little brown mark
shaped like a star. It was perfect. Kevin pulled it off its vines, held the
prickly stem carefully and ran back to
the bus. Katie said it was ugly
and they quarreled.
father cut open the pumpkin, scooped out
its insides and carved it. The pumpkin grinned at them - a
lopsided, mischievous kind of a
grin. Kevin cut a star shaped nose
with his dad's help, and saved the
piece. He put the pumpkin on his bedside
table and tucked the little star under
fell asleep and dreamed that he was back
in the Pumpkin Patch. His pumpkin had long vine legs and arms,
and called itself Jack-O. Jack-O told Kevin that he could have one
wish, anything at all. Kevin badly wanted a new video
game. The kids at school were all
talking about it.
the next day, Kevin imagined playing the
game. He wanted to tell Katie on
the bus home, but she was cross and
wouldn't talk. She seemed sad as well as
grumpy. So Kevin asked his mother
and father at supper time about Katie's
dad in hospital.
Their worried faces answered him.
was hard to get to sleep that night. When he
did, with the little star under his
pillow, Kevin found himself back in the Pumpkin
It was a stormy Fall day with
leaves flying everywhere, red and orange
The wind blew so hard that Jack-O
bobbed in the air, vines waving and
getting in tangles.
was time for the wish.
Kevin opened his mouth to ask for
his game. But as the storm tossed
leaves around him, he saw his friend's
face and the words spilled out 'Make
Katie's dad better'.
orange face split in an
enormous grin. He danced in the
air while he told Kevin how to pass on the
Then he disappeared in a burst of
orange fireworks, full of little sparkling stars.
wasn't at school the next morning.
Was Jack-O only a dream?
But she arrived late, smiling and
all was well -
her father was coming home on the
school, Katie and Kevin played in the
The pumpkin star was grubby and
shrivelled in Kevin's pocket and the wind
swished leaves gently along the ground.
Kevin and Katie tossed them at each other, kicked them into
piles and jumped in.
Kevin took out the little star and threw
it high in the air. A gust of wind picked it up. Away
it spiralled, higher and higher in the
sky. He watched until it was only a
little orange point and then even that
Katie asked what he was doing.
Oh nothing, just pumpkin magic,
replied Kevin with a secret smile.