Sunday, October 3, 2010

October: The Great Pumpkin Month ...

I think of Apples in September, and I think of Pumpkins in October .... I always have. What would Autumn be without Pumpkins? For that matter, what would Halloween be without Pumpkins?

After all these years, Linus still entertains us with the Great Pumpkin! Every year we watch Linus try to convince the legitimacy of such a vine honored visit. Poor Linus ... every year it's the same. No Great Pumpkin, but every year he continues to hope.

Pumpkins were already here when the Pilgrims came. If not for the Iroquois, those English folks would have had a pretty miserable winter ... not that is was probably all that great, but at least their survival rate had better odds.

The Iroquois called the pumpkin The Three Sisters and was grown together with corn and beans. According to a legend told by the Iroquois, a pregnant woman living in the sky world above our present world craved the bark of the root of the great tree which grew in the middle of the Sky World. Like all good husbands, her husband scraped the dirt away from the base of the tree to expose the roots, creating a hole. After her husband had obtained the bark she desired, the woman leaned over and looked into the hole; however, she lost her balance and fell to the earth below, becoming the first human on earth. She eventually gave birth to a daughter who grew up and became pregnant with twins by the West Wind. Just before the time came for their birth, the twins got into a fight about how they were to emerge from the womb. The left handed twin did not want to emerge in the usual way and, instead, forced himself out through his mother's left armpit (I know, that's a bit graphic), which killed her in the process. The twins then buried their mother and from the spot where she was buried, there sprouted the corn, beans and pumpkins which became the main food staples of the Iroquois.

Of course, how would Cinderella have gotten to the Ball had it not been for a pumpkin. And there is Peter. You know, "Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater. And where would The Legend of Sleepy Hollow be without the headless rider caring the pumpkin?

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