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Blooper, Blooper

ILLUSTRATIONS BY MARILYNNE ROACH

I always grow a lot of winter squash here in Otter Lake, Quebec. I store them and eat them all Winter. Last Fall, I grew buttercups, butternuts, turbans, marrows, delicatas, dumplings, sunshines, and pumpkins. When they were ripe, I wheelbarrowed them to the house, cleaned them, and stored them.

There was also a strange squash of dubious parentage. It had pale flesh and green bar-code-like markings on its yellowish shell. What to do with them? I lined the driveway with them. My grandchildren played with them. And then I dug them into the garden.

This Spring I rototilled the entire garden and planted it. By July, all the vegetables, flowers, and herbs were growing full tilt, and we took our annual vacation to the family’s cottage. When I returned, the entire garden was covered—by squash leaves! My digging in and tillling up those outer-space squashes had spread them everywhere. What a blooper!

I spent days weeding them out. Even so, I let some vines near my garden’s borders grow into the yard: they looked kind of pretty. When Fall harvest time came, I found several of the renegade squash under the leaves. Again, I used them as decorations and let the grandkids play soccer with them.

By now, I felt some sympathy for the tough, if ugly, things, so I brought two in and stored them with my good squashes. Then one March day, out of curiosity, I decided to cut one open. It was a pumpkin! Oh, yes—it was one of the naked-seeded pumpkins I had planted the year before. I had totally forgotten about them.

I was amazed and embarrassed at the same time. Blooper Number Two.

This article was published originally in 2019, in GreenPrints Issue #119.


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