The Carriage That Wasn’t

Small PumpkinI could feel it before I could see it. The deflation was nearly invisible; merely palpable. It imploded, ever so gently, at my touch. That day, I was doing my usual rounds of dusting.

Against the angular hardness of the bookshelves and coffee tables, my hands fell, all of a sudden, on a surface that had the texture of a blown-up balloon, soft, though not springy.

It was the little pumpkin that I’d got along with a gourd, sometime before Halloween. At the time, they’d appeared very sturdy, solid as wood. I’d put the pair on display as decorative toys, right away.

Dutifully, I’d been keeping them dust-free as I do all my knick-knacks. It was as I was lifting it from its shelf to polish it that it shrank into itself, recoiling with the shyness of a touch-me-not. Maybe it was waiting to morph into a miniature, shiny carriage.

My spell was then broken. What I was holding, was in fact, a bone fide fruit that had reached a stage passed ripening. It didn’t ride away. It couldn’t. It was got rid of. Alas, this was the pumpkin that the fairy godmother couldn’t restore.


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