The Great Pumpkin
The ground was trembling under the great weight. Screams filled the air as the rolling orange Goliath spun down the hillside towards the campers. Ten-year-old Kate scurried out of her tent just in time to avoid the crushing mass of potential pumpkin pie. She must do something! It must be stopped before hundreds are injured and the whole town demolished.
Kate’s eyes followed the destructive path of the Great Pumpkin. Where is it headed next? Looking towards the canyon, Kate noticed the Great Pumpkin was rumbling towards Heppner, a small hamlet of about 300 people. She must act fast! Town was only 10 miles away and the Great Pumpkin was picking up speed.
Kate ran for her father’s ultra-light plane which had been spared devastation and started the motor. Donning her helmet she taxied to the flat runway and poured on the power. Once in the air, Kate followed the pumpkin’s path. Catching up with the rolling powerhouse, she buzzed over it. The wind generated by the pumpkin bucked the small plane. The Great Pumpkin felt her overhead and rolled sideways against the canyon wall gaining speed. Suddenly it rocketed into the air! Kate made a hard right to avoid impact. Sweating, her heart racing against her chest, she realized she had only one chance to stop this vegetable.
Kate flew hard to the left keeping an eye on the pumpkin. Even at her altitude she could hear trees snapping like toothpicks and rocks being crushed into gravel. From her view she could see the fork in the canyon, one towards town and the other towards the reservoir and dam. Coming back down over the Great Pumpkin she taunted the vegetable drawing it to the left side of the canyon. Over and over Kate buzzed the Great Pumpkin until its path turned towards the dam.
Nodding her head in satisfaction, she pulled up quickly as the Great Pumpkin stayed on course, ignoring her in its quest to destroy. Suddenly the Great Pumpkin flew out of the narrow canyon walls with a thunderous splash into the reservoir. Angrily it rolled and rolled trying to move its heavy bulk but it just bobbed, helpless, and benign in the lake. The town was saved and Kate was sure she would be awarded the key to the city.
“Kate!” “Kate!” Kate jumped at the sound of her name. Dazed she looked around, rubbed her eyes as her dad walked towards her shaking his head.
“Sorry dad, I just dozed off.” Kate scrambled to her feet; her back ached from leaning against a hay bale.
“Well, you missed it. I won the Pumpkin Weigh-Off! Can you believe it weighed in at 1,229 lbs.?! Much more than I ever expected!” Excitement was in his voice as they left the fair arena.
© Rebecca St Croix 2013