Sassafras Makes a Jack-o’-Lantern
(story and pictures by Kristy Gherlone)
“May I try on my Halloween costume and can we make a Jack-o’-Lantern?” Sassy asked one October morning.
“Hmmm,” Sassafras’s mother smiled, noticing that Sassafras had already put on the costume, and had already gathered the pumpkins. “I guess it is almost Halloween. I suppose so. Let me get a knife and the things we’ll need.”
“I can get the knife!” Sassafras offered. She was excited and eager to help.
“No. You’d better let me get that,” Sassafras’s mother said. “Knives are sharp. You should never carve a pumpkin unless there is an adult around to help you.”
Sassafras’s mother got the knife and stuck it into the top of the pumpkin. Sassafras began to cry.
“What’s the matter Sassafras? Why are you so sad?”
“I didn’t know you were going to kill the pumpkin!” Sassafras wailed, quite upset.
“Aww, it’s okay,” Sassafras’s mother said, giving her a hug. “This pumpkin is not alive. I promise, I’m not hurting it at all.”
“Are you sure?” Sassafras asked, still sniffling.
“I’m positive. Pumpkins are vegetables. People grow them in their gardens for food and decoration. They are not like people and ducks.”
“Oh. Okay,” Sassafras sighed with relief.
Sassafras’s mother finished cutting a hole into the top of the pumpkin and Sassafras helped to remove the seeds that were inside.
“These seeds are slimy, but they taste kind of good,” Sassy said.
“Don’t eat too many,” Sassafras’s mother cautioned. “You’ll get a bellyache.”
“I think there are more on the bottom.”
“You are doing a great job. Make sure the pumpkin is nice and clean,” Sassafras’s mother said. “If you leave too many of the fibers inside, the pumpkin won’t last very long.”
“I think that’s the last of them,” Sassafras declared. She had created quite a pile of seeds and fibers on the plastic bag.
“We can roast some of the seeds later, after they dry out, if you like. I think you will like those,” Sassafras’s mother said.
“Yummy!” Sassy cried happily. Roasted pumpkin seeds sounded delicious.
When Sassafras and her mother were finished carving the face on the Jack-o’-Lantern, Sassafras helped to carry it onto the porch.
“Our Jack-o’-Lantern came out nice,” Sassafras said, proudly. “And now everyone can see.”
I hope you enjoyed my story. Sassafras is a wonderful pet and has a lot of patience for my nonsense. She is always paid for her participation in the form of worms and hugs.
This was last years costume.