The Giant Pumpkin Roll… by Larry Frank Fields

Giant pumpkin

Here’s the complete story….A Big Tall Tale by Larry Frank “Corn” Fields…

“Hope that whopper don‟t get loose down the valley”, Frank Colley said in mid-September when he visited me on the mountaintop. “Henry Deel told me you wuz a raisin‟ some monster pumpkins „Corn‟. I had no idée you‟d surpass the perportions of last year‟s big boy – but danged if you ain‟t gone and done it”, Frank continued. “When I drove up I thought fer sure the sun was a settin‟”, Frank said, taking off his hat and swattin‟ the no-see-ums. “How‟d you do it Corn?” Frank finally asked. “Well, truth to tell you gave me the idea Frank, with the IV Miracle-Gro drip you used for your big tomatoes last year, I answered, remembering his juicy whoppers. “I just built on your idea, Frank. Hope you don‟t mind”, I implored. “There was a thousand gallon water tank not being used, and I just got me a case of Miracle-Gro . . . and a garden hose. Granted, my IV handles a little more than a drip – more like a steady flow. Also, for good measure, Junior Vandyke gave me several buckets of horse manure from his barn”, I said, spilling all of my secrets. “Don‟t reckon there‟s any danger of stoppin‟ up the creek like last year?” Frank said, a touch of apprehension in his voice. “And for sure ain‟t nobody gonna steal this baby” Frank said. – “You‟d hafta pack a lunch just to walk around it!” “And I don‟t reckon there‟s a remote possibility of this giant getting‟ loose down the valley – what with all the timber being cut, It would have a straight shot to my house”, Frank said, shuddering at the thought. “Not to worry, Frank. It‟s a good two miles to your house, and the way I‟ve got it tethered, It‟d hafta to uproot this big oak to leave the mountain top”, I said, as he climbed back in his pick-up. After Frank left, I checked the tether (7 sheets tied together), and threw the camouflage netting over my pumpkin. For sure I didn‟t want too many people knowing about my giant pumpkin. I could only imagine the thousands of people climbing the mountain to get a look at it. I remembered my dad telling me about a man that was too lazy to scotch pumpkins. He said one got loose behind the man‟s house . . . and rolled into his house, knocking it off the foundation. So . . . every day I checked the tether and scotches. A person can‟t be too careful. The thousand gallons of Miracle-Gro had almost seeped through the garden hose, so I disconnected my IV feeder. Seemed like I had more miracle than God ever intended for a man to have. Already I was having trouble sleeping. Every day – and night – in September I couldn‟t go through the house without looking out the window to assure myself the pumpkin was still there. Amazingly, the giant continued to get bigger. Reflecting on my dilemma, I began to wonder what a person would do with a pumpkin that big. For sure, my wife didn‟t have a pie pan that big. She‟s great when it comes to making pumpkin rolls – but what would a person do with a million pumpkin rolls? Anyway, the very thought of a knife or chainsaw touching my giant pumpkin kinda made me sick to my stomach. The more I thought about it, the more I resolved to keep it just the way it was. For that matter, I could charge people a buck or two just to get their picture taken beside of it . . . make a bundle . . . and have enough to buy all the pumpkin pies and pumpkin rolls I could eat in several lifetimes. I recollected how fortunate I was to even grow my giant pumpkin. My giant was one of 150 pumpkin plants sewn so optimistically in my garage as I had waited anxiously for the rainy June days to give way to sunshine. By the time that happened, however, 149 of the plants had expired. Only one plant survived . . . but that one pumpkin plant produced a pumpkin that had taken over my psyche. It‟s continued survival became my obsession. Then tragedy struck during the pre-dawn hours last Wednesday morning when remnants of Hurricane Jeanne paid a visit to Baldwin Mountain. I was pacing the floor when she struck. High wind and torrential rain combined . . . as flying leaves and tree limbs pelted my window panes . C-R-R-R-RACK! . . . – And I knew something terrible had happened. Praying it was just another tree limb breaking, I donned my rain slicker and ventured out in the storm to check on my giant pumpkin. Scanning the area with my high beam flashlight, my heart pounding, I began to take in the scene. My giant pumpkin was gone. All that remained was parts of the camouflage netting . . . and a torn sheet. The giant pumpkin had broken loose from its tether and catapulted down the mountain. I was devastated. Deciding to wait for daylight, I went back in the house to make a pot of coffee. The brief storm was over, but I now found myself chilled to the bone . . . my imagination running away with me. Hard as I tried, I couldn‟t picture my giant pumpkin surviving its certain roll down the valley. Bleary-eyed and apprehensive, I climbed into my pick-up just as the sun climbed over the horizon. Traveling down the mountain road, all I could think about was my giant pumpkin. Could it be wedged between two trees? Did it roll to the bottom and back up a hill? Did it burst open on a rock or tree? And worse . . . did it roll into Frank Colley‟s house?? I didn‟t have to wait long to find out. Ten minutes later, when I pulled into Frank Colley‟s driveway, the answer was oh so obvious. “Bout time you showed up, Corn!” Frank said . . . not appearing one bit happy. Bits and pieces of my shattered giant were strewn across his house, garage, driveway, and yard. I couldn‟t help myself – I shed a tear or two . . .partly from relief – for there didn‟t appear to be any real damage. Already, Frank had taken his end-loader and dumped the bigger portions over an embankment. Right then, he was busy hooking up his pressure washer to wash down his house and garage. Silently, for I could sense that Frank was seething inside, we worked for two hours washing away the orange slime from my broken giant. Most of the orange slime found its way into the Dry Fork creek bed. As we put away the hose and pressure washer, Frank began to vent his pent-up anger. “‟Corn‟! Do you realize what you‟ve done? The only thing that saved my house from that giant pumpkin rollin‟ was that giant oak yonder. My dogs, Fleabag and Susie, have plumb run off . . . and me and my wife had to take half a bottle of nerve pills – each! Don‟t you ever grow no more giant pumpkins on the mountain top!” “You‟re right Frank!” My mistake – I thought I had it all scotched and tethered – It won‟t happen again – and that‟s for sure!” “Dang it! — No real harm done no how . . . But I sure thought we were goners for sure when I heard that giant pumpkin rollin‟ down the mountain like a runaway freight train!” “These big pumpkin seeds can just float on down the creek” Frank said as he kicked several into the orange-tinted waters of upper Dry Fork. “I‟ve learned my lesson, Frank, I said . . . picking up one rather large pumpkin seed . . . and slipping it in my pocket. I don‟t know . . . but I‟ve been told that pumpkin seeds keep quite well in a freezer . . . Aftermath: Junior Vandyke told me recently he took his horse to the creek to water her last Wednesday mornin‟ – “At first I thought iron was seepin‟ into the Dry Fork creek bed” he said – “But then my„ ol horse got a pumpkin seed up her nose!” Susie and Fleabag returned home two days later . . . and I took Frank and Freda a freshly baked pumpkin pie last Sunday. Bunch of folks came looking for the damage after reading this Tall Tale…LOL

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