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The Speckled Little Pumpkin

written by Mary Beth Bamat Lemont Berlin

illustrated by Mike Motz


Š 2012 by Mary Beth Bamat Printed in the United States of America All rights reserved. This publication is protected by Copyright, and permission should be obtained from the publisher prior to any prohibited reproduction, storage in a retrieval system, or transmission in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or likewise. Published by Berry St. Books, Eifrig Publishing, PO Box 66, 701 Berry Street, Lemont, PA 16851, USA Knobelsdorffstr. 44, 14059 Berlin, Germany. For information regarding permission, write to: Rights and Permissions Department, Berry St. Books, an imprint of Eifrig Publishing PO Box 66, 701 Berry Street, Lemont, PA 16851, USA. permissions@eifrigpublishing.com, +1-888-340-6543 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Bamat, Mary Beth The Speckled Little Pumpkin/ by Mary Beth Bamat, illustrated by Mike Motz p. cm. Paperback: ISBN 978-1-936172-45-0 [1. Self-esteem - Juvenile Fiction. 2. Pumpkins - Juvenile Fiction.] I. Motz. Mike, ill. II. Title: The Speckled Little Pumpkin 16 15 14 13 2012 54321 Printed on acid-free paper. ∞


This book is dedicated to all the little kiddos who have struggled with diversity and have felt left out at one time or another. Always remember, “You are a special gift, with a lot to give.� M. B. B.


4


Pumpkin season had finally arrived. Farmer Pete’s pumpkin patch was looking good.

It wouldn’t be long before the children would come to pick out their favorite pumpkin. Some would be painted and some would be carved. All would be displayed at the Fall Festival Pumpkin Contest.

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All of the pumpkins were big, round and a beautiful shade of orange; all but one, that is. At the far end of the garden sat one speckled little pumpkin that didn’t have a chance of being picked by anyone.

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“You’re so small and bumpy, nobody is going to pick you,” laughed the biggest pumpkin in the pumpkin patch. “You would have to be propped up since you’re not round like the rest of us,” giggled another pumpkin. “Not everyone wants a big pumpkin or a round pumpkin,” cried Little Pumpkin.

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“Yeah, but your color isn’t too good either. You look a bit speckled.” “I don’t know, but I think you’re supposed to be orange like us,” taunted another pumpkin nearby.

Little Pumpkin started to feel worried. He wondered if anyone would pick him for the Fall Festival.

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The next day Farmer Pete placed his “Pumpkins for Sale� sign at the end of the lane.

All day long, people stopped to shop for the perfect pumpkin. Up and down the rows they walked looking for just the right one -- the one they were sure would win the contest.

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The sun was starting to go down. All of the pumpkins had been picked except for Little Pumpkin. Being alone made Little Pumpkin feel sad and lonely. “I guess the others were right; nobody will ever pick me,� he sighed.

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Just then he heard footsteps coming towards him. He looked up and saw Farmer Pete’s wife. “Thank goodness,” she said. “This is just the right pumpkin for me to make a pie for the Fall Festival Pie Contest.” Little Pumpkin started to feel better. “Now, I will get to go to the Fall Festival with all the others,” he smiled to himself.

17


The next day was a lovely sunny day for the Fall Festival.

Farmer Pete’s wife placed her yummy pumpkin pie on the table by all the other pies.

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The judges took their time tasting the many pies, trying to pick the finest one.

Little Pumpkin’s old pumpkin patch pals watched in wonder as they waited for the judges to pick the winner.

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“We have reached a decision,” the judges announced. “Farmer Pete’s wife wins First Place for her wonderful pumpkin pie. Everyone watched and cheered, “Way to go!” “I guess it doesn’t matter how big or small, orange or speckled you may be on the outside. It’s what’s inside that counts,” they agreed. Little Pumpkin beamed with joy as they decorated him with the first place ribbon. 22


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THE END


colored by:_______________


Going Green with Farmer Pete COMPOSTING WITH KIDS Preschoolers are the perfect age to learn about recycling and composting. Making a family compost pile is a fun way to teach children to be good stewards of the earth. Why buy your fertilizer, when you can make your own? Ingredients Needed: Kitchen Bucket Nitrogen – vegetable and fruit peelings, egg shells, coffee grounds Carbon – dry leaves, sawdust, shredded paper, straw, dry grass, wood ash Water and Oxygen Allow children to discard kitchen peelings from fruits and vegetables in the bucket. Also egg shells and coffee grounds are great for compost piles. Other sources of Nitrogen come from lawn clippings, farm manure and garden weeds. Encourage your children to rake leaves for the compost pile (after taking the time to jump in the pile first!). Also, sawdust, shredded papers, straw and wood ash can be used. These are all high in carbon. The perfect ratio is 20 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen.


The microorganisms that turn the material to compost need water. The moisture content should be about 50%. It should be damp but not wet. Too much water and too little water can slow down the composting process. The material does not have to be layered. It should be turned every two weeks to re-aerate it. This provides the necessary oxygen. During the rainy season, cover your compost so it doesn’t get too wet. In the hot dry season, mist it down to keep it damp. Your compost should be ready in about 9 months. Signed: Farmer Pete


The Speckled LIttle Pumpkin