A Halloween Tradition Gets Started
JACK THE PUMPKIN
There once was a pumpkin named Jack.
Who grew up in a patch out in back.
There’s not much a pumpkin can do,
But grow in the sun, so he grew,
And he grew and grew and grew.
Jack asked, “What’s my fate going to be?
Is there something out there just for me?”
But the word came down on the vine,
“You’re going to be food, Jack, don’t pine,
You’re food on which people will dine.”
Then came that eventful day,
When Jack was taken away.
Jack was put in a roadside stand,
To sit on the rack looking grand,
’til a family came by in a van.
The family bought Jack for their boy,
To play with instead of a toy.
He cried out, “Oh Dad, please come quick,
Sis’ has done a really mean trick.
She poked holes in Jack with a stick!”
“Now, don’t cry over this,” said his dad.
“These holes aren’t really so bad.
With my knife it will be no big feat,
To round out the holes to look neat,
Before Mom bakes a pie we can eat.”
“My goodness,” Mom said to the lad,
“What caused you kids and your dad,
To cut holes in your pumpkin? Who knows!
These holes can be eyes, cut a smile and a nose,
With a candle inside, how he glows!”
“He’ll be a light for the kids on the street,
When they come to the door for a treat.
Jack will be a Halloween light,
To shine out into the night,
So the shadows won’t be such a fright.”
So Jack found his destiny,
With a name for all history.
His fame spread on Halloween night,
As the pumpkin lantern so bright.
He was the first Jack O’ Lantern, all right!
Robert Z. Hicks, “Mr. Bob”
(Jack the Pumpkin is an excerpt from my unpublished book, “Once I Was A Kid, With the Wild Things on Grandpa’s Farm.”
“Once I Was A Kid…” is a memoir collection of anecdotes of experiences I had from age 7 to 12, with rhyming stories inspired by those adventures.)