No one really knew what the pumpkins were protesting against. Even the pumpkins seemed to have no real consensus amongst themselves. But when the farmer arrived at their patch, they began to clamour.
The farmer was a good one, the kind that paid attention to the life that grew on his land, and so he lent them a patient ear, trying to discern one complaint from another.
He thought he heard some mention of wages, but what could pumpkins possibly have to do with money?
There was some talk of aliens, but again he dismissed it as his misinterpretation.
The pumpkins spoke in a strange language — ideally, those pumpkins shouldn’t have been talking in the first place — but the farmer was glad they had found a way to express themselves instead of taking to rotting in the ground and opening themselves up to swarms of insects even before they could be harvested.
He also thought he caught the terms ‘jack-o-lanterns’ and ‘pies’ and ‘Halloween’ thrown into the mix, and assumed that the pumpkins didn’t want to be plucked and deformed for the entertainment of people.
He had never thought on those lines before but now that he considered their point of view, he could see the merit in their arguments. For who in their right frame of mind would want to have a scary face carved into their very being or consent to being chopped up into little pieces to be roasted or baked or steamed?
He promised the pumpkins he wouldn’t harvest them that morning and that they could have another discussion the following day, focussing on solutions rather than on problems this time.
The pumpkins readily agreed and the farmer left them to their devices for the rest of the day.
He lay awake all night conjuring up solutions to these unprecedented problems of the pumpkins in the patch.
The next morning, he came to the fields, buoyed by the number of possibilities he was prepared to present to them.
Only, the fields were empty. Not a pumpkin was in sight. It was as if he had not sown and grown a single one of them over the summer.
He stood there, scratching his head for a while. Stranger things tended to happen in the fields, especially at this time of the year, he reminded himself. Besides, this was probably someone’s idea of a Halloween prank.
But that night when sleep refused to come, he had the sense to look out of his window and up into the skies. Instead of stars, thousands of jack-o-lanterns grinned back at him from their celestial abode.
Ah, those dratted aliens! The pumpkins did try to warn him about them. There was nothing he could do about it now, except hope that his precious friends were being well compensated for their time and effort.