The following story is one that was told to children in the early 1900’s. It is a sweet story of how friendship and love can light up our lives. To enhance this tale, you can have a pumpkin that you have already carved out nearby and a small stuffed or felted cat placed gently inside (place a napkin or cloth inside to protect your toy).
A Halloween Pumpkin Story
Once upon a time a big orange pumpkin was growing just outside a stone wall, far off in a field, all alone. The farmer had gathered all his pumpkins and stored them carefully in his great barn. But no one knew of the big orange pumpkin growing just outside the wall, all alone. The big orange pumpkin was lonely. “I wish I belonged to someone,” said he. “Meow, Meow! I do, too,” cried a little black cat, stretching herself and jumping down from the stone wall where she had been sleeping. “It will soon be winter,” said the big orange pumpkin; “let’s go find someone to belong to.” “Yes, let’s do,” said the little black cat, eagerly. “I want to belong to a little girl with a sweet face and shining eyes.” “And I,” said the big orange pumpkin, “want to belong to a jolly little boy who whistles and sings when he works. Let’s hurry right away to find them.” “Yes, let’s do,” said the little black cat. So off they started — the big orange pumpkin rolling and tumbling along, and chuckling to himself as he went, and the little black cat pit patting along on her soft little cushions, purring because she was happy.
On and on they went, over the fields and through the woods. It began to grow cold, oh, so cold, and dark, too. The little black cat shivered as the wind whistled through the trees. “See here,” said the big orange pumpkin, “you can’t sleep outdoors tonight. What shall we do?” Just then they saw a man coming along the path with a bundle of wood on his back. “Ho, Mr. Woodcutter!” cried the pumpkin, “have you a knife?” “That I have,” said the merry woodsman. “What can I do for you, my fine fellow?” “Just cut off a piece of my shell where the stem is, and scoop out some of my seeds, if you please,” said the pumpkin. No sooner said than done. “There, my little black cat,” said the pumpkin, “when you wish to sleep tonight, you may curl inside and be as warm as a sunbeam.” “But will you not come home with me?” asked the woodsman. “Have you a little girl with a sweet face and shining eyes?” asked the little black cat. “Have you a jolly little boy who whistles and sings when he works?” asked the big orange pumpkin. “No, ah, no,” said the woodsman, “but I have a pig and some hens.” “Then we’ll go on,” said the pumpkin, “but thank you kindly.”
So on they went, and on, until the stars began to shine. Then the tired little black cat curled in her hollow nest, put on the cover, and went to sleep. In the morning they went on again, but before long it began to rain. The little cat’s soft fur was soon very wet. “You poor little thing,” said the big orange pumpkin; “curl inside your house and I will trundle you along.” “But it’s so dark inside, and I couldn’t see where we were going,” cried the little cat, holding up a tiny, dripping paw. “Windows!” cried the pumpkin. “Of course, windows! How silly of me! Wait here under this fence, my little friend, until I come back. “Then off he hurried across the road to a carpenter’s shop.
“Ho, Mr. Carpenter!” cried the pumpkin, “have you a knife?” “That I have,” said the jolly carpenter. “What can I do for you, my fine fellow?” “Just cut some windows for me, if you please.” So the carpenter took a sharp knife and cut four windows — just like a face he made them, two for eyes, one for a nose, and one for a mouth, and he laughed as he did it. When he finished the mouth, the pumpkin laughed too. “Ha, ha, ha!” cried he. “What a relief to have a mouth to laugh with! Ha, ha, ha!” And he laughed all the way back in the rain to where the little shivering black cat was waiting. And she laughed, too, and climbed inside her coach, and put on the cover.
So on through the rain they went, and on and on. Just as dark was drawing near, they came to a wee, brown house by the side of the road. In the yard was a little boy picking up chips and putting them into a big basket. He whistled as he worked, and then he began to sing: “If wishes were horses, then beggars might ride; If turnips were watches, I’d wear one by my side.” Then the door opened, and a little girl with a sweet face and shining eyes stood on the threshold. “What do you wish, John?” she called. “Oh,” laughed the boy, as he came in with the chips. “I wish I had a pumpkin for a Jack-O-Lantern, for this is the season.” “And I wish I had a little cat to love,” said the little girl.
“This is the place for us!” whispered the
big orange pumpkin; and he rolled up to the door, bumpity bump! “Look,
John!” cried the little girl, “here’s our
Jack-O-Lantern! The fairies must have sent it. Isn’t it a beauty?” “There’s something inside,” said John, snatching off the cover, and out jumped a tiny black cat, straight into the little girl’s arms. “Oh, oh!” they cried. And when mother came home in the dark, a jolly Jack-O-Lantern with a candle inside was shining out of the window at her, and close beside it sat a little black cat.