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Pumpkin Surprise

Kathy Hudson

9:55 AM EDT, October 19, 2011

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When I walked outside Saturday morning, a squirrel was feasting on the small pumpkin I had brought home the previous weekend. He had made a huge hole clear into the center. Seeds were strewn all over the brick steps.

I had wondered why this tiny pumpkin was so costly when I bought it, but I hadn't had time to figure out why. When I set it down on the porch steps, I saw a sticker that said it was organic and for pies. No wonder it was so dear in price as well as size.  
 
The squirrels took just a few days to discover how ripe and delicious this diminutive orb was. By Saturday morning they’d nibbled so much I had to move the pumpkin out back. 
 
Before we went on a walk, my husband swept the steps free of seeds. When we came home, a large pot of pumpkin-colored chrysanthemums stood in the exact spot where the pumpkin had been an hour before. 
 
This was not the result of magic or a present from a contrite squirrel. It was a Saturday surprise from an anonymous friend.