Curbit was just an average to small pumpkin. Sometimes she felt smaller than she was. She'd spent her whole life, all summer and midway into autumn trying so hard to grow big and plump. The life purpose of a pumpkin is to be useful and Curbit believed she had to be big. She was a pretty pumpkin. She was kind of oval with graceful lines and gentle curves. She was appealing to look at. Curbit did not particularly care for beauty. Big and strong was better, she thought.
Curbit looked at her cousins in the field. One of them, the butternut squash, was her close friend. They always had a nice time together. They would talk together about what they wanted to be when they grew up. Betsy wanted to get up to three pounds before she was picked. Betsy's dream was to be cooked up nice and soft and put with brown sugar and butter. She wanted to share a dinner plate with a slow-roasted, tender turkey drumstick, some broccoli, and a side dish of orange Jello-O. Green bean casserole would be nice, too, thought Betsy. Curbit wanted to be a giant pumpkin and win some contest.
Betsy and Curbit looked around at their cousins and neighbors in the field. Now that the corn had been cut, everyone was in easy view. Hubert the Hubbard squash was getting massive. He was pretty proud of himself, too. He boasted that he would sell for more than $3.50 per pound when he was ready. All those little acorn squashes ran all over the place. All the acorn squashes look alike--that ribbed egg-shape, dark green, and mosly the same size. They all wanted pretty much the same thing out of life and had two options--to be sliced in half and stuffed with heaps of either sausage and wild rice or stuffed with brown sugar and butter. Acorn squashes were always pleasant to be around. Curbit and Betsy liked them. Terry the turban squash was getting pretty big, too. Delicata had a bit of a diva attitude, although Betsy and Curbit had to admit Delicata was one of the prettiest in the bunch.
Everybody laughed at Spiggy the spaghetti squash because he really thought he was spaghetti. He actually believed that if he tried really hard he could grow up to be penne. He was the only one in the field who liked tomatoes. Tomatoes have reputations, you know. They make themselves to almost too eager and accessible such that they seem a little slutty. They'll try to make friends with everything and anything and end up getting sauced. Spiggy loved tomatoes.
The gourds were just cute and they played nicely with those little tiny decorative pumpkins. They'd roll by the squashes and bigger pumpkins and laugh. You couldn't help but smile when you saw them.
Curbit was getting a little frustrated that she hadn't grown big. She had tried so hard. She soaked up nutrients from the earth and she sunbathed as often was she could to build up her sugars. She just wasn't as big as she wanted to be. Betsy tried to console her, "You look nice the way you are, Curbit."
"But looking nice isn't all there is in life," responded Curbit.
"That's true, but having someone paint your face and sitting around looking pretty is not a bad thing," said Betsy.
"I wanted the Quintessencial Omnipotent Pumpkin to be proud of me, but I don't think it will be," sobbed Curbit.
"Aw, Curbie," said Betsy, "Quop did not make just big huge pumpkins. Quop made all kinds of pumpkins and gourds and cucumbers and summer squash and winter squash and melons of all kinds of shapes, sizes, and flavors. Quop loves all of us."
"Yeah, you're right, Betsy," said Curbit with a heavy sigh.
They could see the farmer walking in the garden and watched him as he pointed to plants and talked about them with some people who came with him. One patch over from Curbit's and Betsy's, the friends heard the farmer say that those pumpkins over there were jack-o-lantern pumpkins. He said they make good seeds for roasting.
The farmer walked with his companions over to Curbit's and Betsy's area and said, "now, this here is one of the finest varieties of pie pumpkin you will ever find. The texture is perfect, producing a solid yet creamy filling and the flavor is sweet all on its own. This kind of pumpkin is not watery like the jack-o-lantern pumpkins. This is our best food pumpkin."
The people smiled. The farmer stooped down on one knee, opened up a large jackknife, and cut Curbit's stem from her vine. He picked her up and cradled her in his arm and showed her to the people. Everyone was smiling. Curbit was just about bursting with joy. She was so happy. While he was there, the farmer noticed that Betsy's stem was separating from her fine, so he picked her, too. He carried both of them home to the farmhouse.
Curbit and Betsy were part of a great meal that evening. Betsy sat beside some roast pork, applesauce, and red cabbage and was very happy. Curbit was made into a luscious pie and some of her was saved and frozen to be used in bread, ravioli, and pudding. Her seeds were saved and roasted. Curbit was a happy happy pumpkin.