Around the time of Hallowe’en, the children were captivated by a book we read called Pumpkin Jack. In the story, a boy could not bear to throw away his carved jack o’lantern so he placed it in his garden, on the ground among the autumn leaves and forgot about it. The story follows the pumpkin as it rots away and in the spring, a new shoot is found from one of the pumpkin’s seeds and eventually the boy is rewarded with a bumper crop of pumpkins, which he shares among his friends.
The children were intrigued by this story and it was read many times. We decided to find out what would happen to our pumpkin if we left it outside, although I explained to them that we had already scooped all the seeds out so there would be no regrowth. Here is the story of our own Pumpkin Jack.
The children have loved watching the pumpkin “disappear”. In the early stages, there was surprise at each visit, accompanied by lots of “yuk” noises. As the weeks progressed, we talked about what had caused the pumpkin to rot; what might have eaten it; how the weather might have affected it. They still go over to the patch of soil now and point to where the pumpkin “used to be”.