Mark Grows A Jack-O-Lantern

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By Dorothy Dean Holman

(1895 - 1984)

Ca. 1965

[Edited by John M. Holman, Contributing Writer]

Mark was in first grade. He had learned from Ecology books how plants help to make the air pure. "I will plant a garden," he said.

He began saving his pennies in his piggy bank.

When he had enough he went to the store and bought garden tools. He bought a rake, a hoe and a shovel. And he bought a package of pumpkin seeds. "I will crow my own Jack-o-lantern," he said.

With his shovel he dug up a small place in his back yard.

Then he raked it smooth with his new rake.

Next he made four holes.

And he put a shovelful of fertilizer in the bottom of each hole and covered it with soil.

Then he planted three pumpkin seeds in each hole end covered them over with more soil.

He made a sign and wrote on it, "PUMPKINS" and set it in the middle of the pumpkin patch.

Every morning he went out to look at his garden before going to school.

One morning he was happy to see little green plants peeking through the ground.

Of course weeds came up too. At he pulled them up and hoed around each plant with his new hoe.

The pumpkin vines grew bigger and bigger, and spread out all over the yard.

And then they blossomed, big yellow flowers.

Bees flew from blossom to blossom gathering honey. Mark liked to watch them.

And then the blossoms dropped off and where they had been Mark saw tiny, round, green pumpkins.

The vines spread out more and more. And the pumpkins grew bigger and bigger and began to turn yellow.

Then it was October and time to pick them. They filled Mark's cart full. Some were so big he could hardly lift them.

He heaped them in the yard. They made a sizeable pile.

Mark gave one to all his friends and still had some left.

So he made another sign that said, "Pumpkins for sale".

People stopped by and bought one till they were all gone, except one Mark had saved for himself.

Just before Hallowe'en, Daddy helped him make a face on it, and set it on the porch, where everyone could see it.

"I think I'll raise some more next year", he said. "it's been such fun. And I've helped to make the air more pure like the Ecology books say."