The village children knew exactly what made Elvira’s pumpkins the best: the nightly visits of the Old Pumpkin Carver.
Many years ago, in the little village of Indian Springs, there lived an old woman who had a luscious pumpkin patch. Each night, a pumpkin carver paid a visit to the patch, whistling as he selected a gourd for special attention. But this was no ordinary gardener or artist; the Old Pumpkin Carver carved pumpkins that were still on the vine, resulting in some of the most unique creations the village folk had ever seen. He often carved personal messages and the names of local children into his pumpkins as well, adding to the mystique. The children of Indian Springs were fascinated, and had several theories about the mysterious and benevolent Pumpkin Carver’s identity. Leprechauns? Wizards? Elvira herself?
Who was this covert craftsman?
The locals of Indian Springs aren’t talking. And so the legend of the Old Pumpkin Carver lives on.
Once upon a time, many long years ago a woman lived all alone in a three-story mansion up on the hill overlooking the little village of Indian Springs. According to legend, her name was Elvira. No one knew her last name. Everyone just called her Elvira.
She grew the best pumpkins in the valley. They were the best--not the biggest. Oh, she grew some big ones, but that did not make her pumpkins the best.
Some people believed Elvira's pumpkins were the best because every morning she would serenade the pumpkin patch with a short piano concert. Beautiful music came out of that old baby grand piano. If the wind was blowing just right, you could hear Elvira playing in the Village Square. It was lovely.
Others believed Elvira's pumpkins were the best because of the care she took with her pumpkin patch. She pulled up every weed, she carefully shaded each tiny pumpkin from the hot summer sun, and she watered each section just enough to keep it moist.
The village children knew exactly what made Elvira's pumpkins the best. It was the nightly visits of the Old Pumpkin Carver. That's right, the Old Pumpkin Carver.
Late at night, you could hear whistling. That, the children believed was the Old Pumpkin Carver visiting the pumpkin patch and selecting pumpkins to carve. He would carve the names of the children who lived in the village. It was indeed an honor to have your name carved onto a pumpkin.
The interesting thing, though, was that the carving process took place while the pumpkins grew on the vine. The result looked a bit peculiar. Just as with a scab when you skin your knee, the pumpkin shell grows over the cut out pieces to try to "heal" it. The only difference is that these cut pieces have thick gnarled protrusions that continue to grow as the pumpkin grows. The Pumpkin Carver usually does a letter or two at a time working on several pumpkins at once. Then waits for the shell to grow over and continues carving. Waiting and carving again. Evidently, the Pumpkin Carver is very patient. Between you and me, I think the Pumpkin Carver loves to carve pumpkins this way.
Well, the children of Indian Springs had their own theories about the Pumpkin Carver.
Tommy Green thought the Old Pumpkin Carver was a leprechaun to be able to carve pumpkins on the vine.
Emily Sue Watson thought the Old Pumpkin Carver was a wizard with a magic wand that did the carving.
Little Mikey Olsen was sure there were magic mice that did the carving by the light of the moon.
About Sharon M. Harvey
About the Author: Sharon M. Harvey is a former educator and a storyteller at heart. She comes by it naturally, thanks to a father and an uncle whose yarns kept her imagination inspired. She is also the author of Virginia’s Travel Basket.