Over a month ago my husband mentioned that a pumpkin or watermelon was growing down the hill from our house, not anywhere near our garden. “Hmmmmm...that’s cool,” I thought, and then forgot all about it.
He’s not a gardener, so he couldn’t tell what it was until it started to take shape, and then, like a stroke of autumn magic, it took the shape of a pumpkin. Honestly, I didn’t believe him because I just thought it was some random plant overtaking the hillside like most of the cockleburrs, thistles, and other various weeds overtaking the boundaries of our yard. I also didn’t want to take the short walk to go look because that would be followed by trudging back up the hill and that seems suspiciously similar to exercise. He mentioned it again, and again, until I finally took a look.
How cool, huh? Just a random pumpkin popping out of nowhere. Not really nowhere, a very important where actually.
It’s growing just off the lagoon.
For all the city people that think of a lagoon as just a small body of water, I must inform you that a lagoon in the country is, um, well, it’s where the poop goes.
We aren’t hooked up to sewer lines out in the boonies, so our options are to have a septic tank or a lagoon.
It’s down the hill from our house near the wood line. Technically, it’s a little ways off, but the vine has grown up the hill from the lagoon, creating a giant pumpkin. Of course it’s giant! It’s being fertilized once a day by most of us and anytime my husband wants to sit down and read a book in the bathroom.
My question is, where did the pumpkin seed come from that started this massive vine? In the past we have thrown the old pumpkins in the garden, with my intention every year to begin a compost pile, which never happens. When we have pigs we will give them the pumpkins, which they love, but the garden and the pigs are on the other side of the house. The only other thing I can think of is the one time I have baked pumpkin seeds with my son.
He saw it on television and then again at the library when the librarian read a story about carving a pumpkin, and they briefly mentioned saving the seeds for a snack in the story. He doesn’t miss a thing, so we had to go directly home, carve a pumpkin that I never had the chance to carve at Halloween and was now coincidentally serving as our Thanksgiving decoration, and bake the seeds just as the recipe on the back of the book described, with a little season salt, butter, and my secret ingredient/technique. It wasn’t difficult of course, consisting of some prep work, ingredients, and a baking sheet, but I’m not a baker, so after five minutes too long, I could smell burning pumpkin seeds as we built a Lego castle in the next room.
My secret technique? Burning - I burn everything.
That did not deter my then three year old. He wanted some pumpkin seeds and he ate quite a few. The rest ended up in the trash. One seed must have survived the burning ritual I call cooking, and therefore, I’m concerned that one seed somehow kept it’s whole shape through the digestive system and survived the monsoon through the plumbing. The pumpkin must have come from poop and was fertilized with poop. I want nothing to do with this disgusting pumpkin.
Obviously, other scenarios are probably more accurate, like a bird picking up a seed from the compost pile and dropping it on it’s way back to its nest in the woods. It may even have been from a Halloween pumpkin from the previous year that went astray. I buy A LOT of Halloween pumpkins. It wouldn’t be shocking to know that when my son was so deliberately moving them from their designated spot to new spots all over the yard, one rolled down the hill.
But I can’t shake the feeling that it’s a poop pumpkin. I have decided that it will stay in its spot where it will eventually rot.
This Thanksgiving, and this is a warning to people that think I may not like you (because I probably don’t), if I come to your holiday party with a pumpkin pie to share, be wary. Be very wary!