The Compassionate Pumpkin
When an early Spring heat wave is followed by a severe frost it wreaks havoc on our fruit trees. My son, for instance, has over 40 blueberry bushes. They have been great producers and he always has more than he can possibly use. This year, however, he didn’t have enough to fill a quart jar.
So, it was not a complete surprise when I was visiting near Blowing Rock, North Carolina, recently to see a stand of apple trees that were devoid of fruit. The frost had attacked them also. The owner said that these 4 or 5 trees had produced a few wrinkled and sour apples but nothing worth eating or putting into a pie.
The strange thing, however, was what did manage to survive. He had used a mixture of compost and loam around the trees in hopes of buffering the effects of the freeze. This didn’t seem to work but, much to the surprise of he and his wife, a healthy and robust vine started to grow at the base of one of the apple trees.
It was a pumpkin vine…the tendrils wrapping around the trunk and moving protectively up into the branches. It was almost as if the vine was saying: “I’ll be your fruit for this season”...and, sure enough, as the owners continued to watch in amazement, a seedling appeared far up in the crook of the tree limbs.
Nothing could stop the progress of this hardy little guy and it wasn’t long before the seedling took on shape and color. IT WAS A PUMPKIN...proudly on display in the tree. And there it is now...growing larger and happier with each passing day...the compassionate pumpkin who couldn’t bear to leave the apple tree fruitless.