Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Just a Rotten Pumpkin!

    The Scribe (my nine-year-old) is a lot like me.  She told me one of her theories yesterday, and I swear it's made of gold.  
    "When you make something, art or music, part of your soul goes into it," she said.
    I nodded; I've told her that many times.  When I really play my violin, or when I sit down and write something important, I might as well just pry open my ribs and show people what makes my heart beat.  (Sorry for the visual, but Halloween is coming after all!)
    "Well, that's why I'm worried about my pumpkin," she said.
    "Why?"
    "Because, I drew the face on it, and even helped with the carving.  I loved that stupid thing and now my soul went into it."
    "When I said your soul went into your work, I didn't mean it like that."
     "But, Mom, I can feel my soul IN the pumpkin!  I bet that's how Voldemort felt with those horcruxes.  He spent loads of time making them, when all he needed was a few pumpkins."  
    I managed to hold a straight face.  "You know, if you can feel it . . . maybe you're right."  I didn't want to ruin the moment because she obviously felt very smart AND proud to be even more intelligent than a famous villain.  I looked at her then and smiled feeling proud too.  The Scribe is such a tomboy.  
    She stood like the toughest baseball player and folded her arms.  "I'm just worried.  My soul went into that thing.  When the pumpkin starts getting old and rotting, if it still looks happy, that means I'll have a good soul.  If it rots and ends up looking scary or sad . . . well, that means I've always had a bad soul."
    "Scribe, that isn't how it works."
    "Don't try to make things better now that I know," she said. "I'm old enough to see what kind of soul I'll have when I grow up.  I've seen it time and again.  Tommy is a great kid; his pumpkin smiled when it rotted.  But Tawnie, I don't want to spread mean things, but her pumpkin looked worse than a grumpy, old frog."
    "She has a bad soul?"
    "Not yet, Mom.  That's what her soul will look like when she grows up.  It's kind of shocking since she's so nice now, but you never know how kids will turn out unless you have a pumpkin, or time to just watch 'em grow up.  
    "Anyway, all kids have good souls.  Didn't you know that?" she asked.
    "It makes sense."       
    "Of course it does," she said.  "All true things make sense.  So, I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens when my pumpkin rots.  I hope it'll still be smiling.  I'd hate to be an evil adult.  I'd probably be a bad driver if that happens and then people would roll down their windows and yell at me all of the time, like in the movies."
   
    So, last night we googled "Rotting Pumpkins."  I've realized, when it comes to pumpkins, The Scribe can spot a bad soul from a mile away.  
    "See," she said pointing, "whoever carved that one was really bad.  And whoever did that, is an angel in waiting."
    Here are some of the pictures we saw:


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    "A really sweet person carved that," the Scribe said about this picture, "probably an old lady."
    "Because all old ladies are nice?"
    "Most of them," she said, "the ones who like baking."



    "What about this one?" I asked.
    "That's a perfect example of someone who has a bad soul.  Poor kid, I bet they don't even know what's coming!"



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    "And this?"
    "That's one of the angels in waiting I told you about.  The kid who carved that is probably even nicer than I am right now!"




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    "That person was okay, not really bad or good," she said.
    "Why?"
    "'Cause it's not smiling or frowning."
    "Like a fence-walker," I said.
    "What's that?"
    "Well, imagine a big desert where all of the good people are on one side and all of the zombie-ish, bad people are on the other side.  Picture a big fence going between the two sets of people.  Someone who doesn't know if they're good or bad is a fence-walker."
    "I don't like fence-walkers.  If someone can't decide if they want to be good or bad, they probably aren't good at all.  Nice people want to be that way just because it's right.  
    "Can a bad person hop the fence and become good?"
    "Sure," I said.
    "Wow, I hope a bunch of the bad guys will hop the fence.  That would be terrible to just be mean and yucky all of the time."
    "So it's better to be bad and turn good, than to be a fence-walker?"
    "Oh, yeah," she said, "at least the bad people knew what they wanted."
    It was a deep conversation I didn't want to get into, so we continued looking at more pictures of pumpkins souls.
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This picture showed up under the "Rotting Pumpkin" search.  While with the Scribe, I scrolled past it as fast as I could.  Then, after finding it this morning, I had to laugh because it's real name was: "Evil Two Leg."  Wow, now I'm really scared--not!


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    "And that," the Scribe hushed when she saw this last picture, "was carved by the most evil soul around."
    "Seriously?  Why?"
    "It doesn't even have a face!  The thing fell in on itself because the evil was too strong."
    I suddenly felt ill.  This same thing happened to my pumpkin LAST YEAR!  I'd carved the sweetest little face.  The mouth only had one tooth.  It looked goofy and happy, but then it crumpled after a few short weeks and I was very sad.
    I didn't want to tell the Scribe any of that though, so I smiled at her, praying all of our pumpkins will end with smiles.  
    I love her cute theories and the fun way she looks at life.  There was no way I could set her straight.  I guess we'll just have to wait and see.  I looked outside this morning, and our pumpkins are already starting to rot.  Wish us luck!  Like the Scribe said, "I'd hate to be an evil adult."
    So, can you remember what your rotten pumpkins looked like last year?  What does your soul really look like?