His pumpkin sat in a dark corner for three weeks. I noticed it on several visits. “I paid $10 for it. I will carve a Halloween face.” Three weeks later, the pumpkin was still there. “I haven’t gotten around to carving it.” I suggested toasting the seeds. I suggested pumpkin pie. “You can have it but I expect half the seeds and a pumpkin pie.” I held out for a day, and then agreed. It was a magnificent pumpkin, hefty, and a significant addition to the festival of Halloween.

I estimated its weight as 14 pounds and checked the weight and mine. I was right on the button. I have made a hobby of making predictions that I check to see how close I come. After doing this for a decade, I can boast that I’m pretty good on weights, distances, ages etc.

I rushed home to carve this behemoth.  I already had the recipes for toasted pumpkin seeds and pie. I jabbed my special knife into the top and circled it to open. The stalk was thick, and sinuous, and tough. I reached into the cavern to feel the soft, squishy, interior with white egg-shaped seeds. I had an ice cream scoop to scrape the strings that held the seeds. Each seed has its own string. These are pollen tubes from when the bees pollinated the orange pumpkin flower and the pollen developed a tube to travel to the stigma and fertilize the egg.

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