Fall. That time of year when the leaves turn a riot of brilliant colors and people steep themselves in the lore of witches, ghosts, unspeakable horrors…
…and pumpkins. Especially pumpkins.
And mightiest of all is he whose exploits leap from the pages of The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano.
Just how am I acquainted with Spookley? I’m glad I asked…
Years ago, I went to lunch with a couple of friends from work. One of them had to fulfill some sort of quest in the local Barnes & Noble, and we followed him inside.
Who could have known that Destiny awaited within?
There, in the shadowy vestibule, a long table sagged beneath the weight of many fine volumes, as if someone had spread all the wisdom of the ancients before us. A column of orange tomes towered over us as if to say, “No need to pass beyond this shadowy vestibule. I am all the book you need.”
And it spoke the truth.
What secrets of the cosmos did The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin offer? What mysteries from beyond time and space were about to reveal themselves?
I seized the volume in trembling hands to discover the answer…
As the astute observer will surmise, our hero, Spookley, is a sapient pumpkin. He is also
a rectangular cuboid square, which anyone who knows their gourds will realize is a suboptimal shape. He lives in a society divided into two factions: the round pumpkins and the square pumpkins. Sadly, Spookley is the only square pumpkin.
The round pumpkins often taunt him:
“You’re not round–you’re square!”
Then the round pumpkins somehow propel themselves away, their sinister laughter echoing in Spookley’s mind.
But when a violent windstorm threatens pumpkinkind with destruction, who among them is of the perfect shape to save the day?
The answer is but one of innumerable secrets that await within its pages.
To be honest, I don’t know for certain how everything turned out for the pumpkins, since we had to leave the shadowy vestibule even as the legend’s dramatic conclusion began to unfold. But I’m sure it ends well, and that the pumpkins learn a valuable life lesson–one that passes itself on to the reader.
And though this post may have been more appropriate for October, Spookley’s legend is such that it does not conform to Time as we mere mortals reckon it.
* * *
What discoveries have you made in the shadowy vestibule of your local bookstore? What’s your favorite book featuring sapient vegetables? And would you care to describe your favorite hat?