Author's Note: I have always thought the Charles Schulz cartoon, The Great Pumpkin, was strange, and wonderful in its existential oddity. Even as a kid, I used to wonder how Linus even came up with the idea of the Great Pumpkin. I always loved Linus, and his quiet, philosophical nature.
The Great Pumpkin
How did Linus come up with the Great Pumpkin story, anyway? Did it perhaps originate with a thirteen-year-old skateboard punk in a black t-shirt on his way to skipping school some mellow September morning, just wanting to mess with the thumb-sucking kid? Or, perhaps a vagabond poet passing through town stopped to smoke a cigarette and spin a Halloween tale with the blanket boy on a small bridge one blustery October day as a silver stream below gushed and burbled over rocks. Or, maybe at a Sunday Mass, with its backdrop of candlelight and incense—of insistence on transubstantiation, the priest spoke of the glory of Christ rising and warned against Thomas, who doubted. Then, that same day, in the crisp sundrenched afternoon, the family took a trip to a pumpkin farm Lucy judging each and every pumpkin for its size, shape, and color. So that in his sleep, Linus, beginning his career as an existential philosopher, learning to wait for what never arrives, birthed the legend of a great, munificent, yet hard to please, pumpkin.
©2020 Sylvia Cavanaugh
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