Monday, October 31, 2016

Penelope Pumpkin & Jack O’Lantern: A Children’s Tale

Very Short Story


Happy Halloween one and all.

Penelope Pumpkin
Photo Credit & Source
: ©Perry J. Greenbaum, 2016


Penelope Pumpkin loved her family, but yet was unhappy. Like all the pumpkins, she grew up in the pumpkin patch. She looked the same as all of them: orange with a little dirt. Some were bigger than her; some were smaller, but they were all pumpkins.

Like I said, Penelope loved her parents, but she didn’t love herself and didn't know why until much later, long after she had left the pumpkin patch. Although she was sad to leave her parents, something deep inside of her told her that “it would all work out for the best.” So, Penelope left with a hopeful heart, moving from the only home she had known and away to the Big City.

Shortly after arriving in the Big City, Penelope went to a juice bar. She met many other kinds, where not all of them were pumpkins. Some were carrots; some were tomatoes and others were oranges. One of them eyed Penelope. They soon became friends. After some time had passed, she confided to her new friend that she was still unhappy.

“What you need is to find yourself. I have a name of a wonderful psychotherapist. Give her a call.”

So, Penelope went; and after two months, her psychotherapist recommended a surgical procedure that would fix everything. “You’ll love yourself,” she said, “Really.”

Penelope liked the idea of going for surgery. It was called gender reassignment surgery. She didn’t understand everything about the procedure, but she trusted her psychotherapist, who had an advanced degree from a leading east-coast university.

Most important, she liked the idea of having a new identity, where it would match the way she felt inside, the way she had always viewed herself. She was a little fearful, though, of the knife, that it would hurt. But she overcame this initial apprehension by telling herself that it was worth “the pain” if it would lead to her final goal.

She woke up; actually it should now read, “he woke up,”

“Congratulations,” the surgeon said. “The surgery was a complete success. What would you now liked to be named.

Penelope was not used to her new self. This was all so new to her, and it would take some time to sink in. She took a deep breath and composed herself. She then looked at herself in the mirror, thought about it for a moment, and said, ”Jack O’Lantern.”

“That’s it,” the surgeon said. “You are now known as Jack O’Lantern.”

Now, Penelope was happy with a new identity as Jack O’Lantern. He was still orange, but he felt lighter; much lighter. He glowed and glowed and was a light and inspiration to his neighborhood. So he thought, and so it was.

A few fellow pumpkins came to him for advice. He felt happy and needed. Jack thanked Penelope (in his heart) for making a good decision. Without her, there would be no him. His only regret, and it was a silent secret one, was that he could not return home to the pumpkin patch.


Jack O’Lantern
Photo Credit & Source: ©Perry J. Greenbaum, 2016