Pumpkin Patch Pixie

When the Pumpkin Patch Pixie goes missing, the prairie dogs go looking and find something they never expected.

Pumpkin Patch Pixie

by Jules de Jongh

Season 2 Episode 45

[opening theme music and strapline]

Nanny Bea: Hello, hello and welcome to my cottage I like to call Dave, your timing is impeccable, the tea is ready and my neighbour Jules will be here with a story any…

[knock sfx]

Nanny Bea:  minute now.

Nanny Bea:  Did you hear that? Sounds like someone is at my door? Hello, is anybody there?

Jules: Yes Nanny Bea, it’s your neighbour Jules with a story.

Nanny Bea: Now isn’t that fortunate, I was just talking about you. Come in dear.

Jules:  Thank you Nanny Bea. I’ve got another story for you and today it’s as sweet as pie.

Nanny Bea:  Not shepherd or chicken then.

Jules:   No, more like, well you’ll find out. Are you ready for a story?

Nanny Bea:  Oh, yes please.

Jules:  Okay then, Pumpkin Patch Pixie, adapted for radio

It was the week before Thanksgiving and all the villagers gathered to decorate the town hall when the sheriff took to the stage, ‘Okay folks there’s been trouble in Pumpkin Patch.’

The leader of the PTA, the prairie dog talkers association, stood up, ‘What kind of trouble are we talking about Sheriff?’

‘The ‘I need another napkin’ kind or the ‘get the heck out of Dodge’ kind?’

‘That all depends, you see our very own Pumpkin Patch Pixie has gone missing and we don’t know where.’

The entire prairie dog village gasped, ‘huh!’ and the shutters on the hall windows slammed, ‘huh’ no that was ‘whack’, yeah more like that.

‘What will happen to all the pumpkins?’ ‘Who will stand guard?’ the villagers asked even though they all knew the answers. The pumpkins won’t survive and no one can take Pixie’s place. This is a disaster! What with Thanksgiving around the corner and all those pumpkin pies to be made. They had to find her, at once.

‘Okay, any volunt…’ Before the sheriff could finish his sentence, every hand went up. They all knew what was at stake, the Thanksgiving feast. Just imagine, or maybe you shouldn’t, the thought of that special day without it’s signature dessert was, well, unthinkable. What would they do with all that whipped cream? I hope we never have to find out.

The villagers quickly formed a search party to find that lost Pixie. The first stop was the field mice, they’re always running around, maybe they saw something or rather, someone.

‘Cooey? Any mouse home?’ the leader of the PTA shouted into the tree trunk where the local mice lived. 

‘Sure are, come on in!’ the very friendly but not very practical mice shouted back, of course the villagers couldn’t fit, I mean they were full sized prairie dogs. That didn’t stop Bucky from giving it try. He got stuck, is still stuck as far as I know but they had a back hole where Mama mouse made her way out, ‘Bucky’s stuck he’s just too big, but never you mind, we’ll feed him and water him and treat him like our own. We may not have much but what we have we’ll share.’

‘So sorry to bother you Mama mouse, I know how busy you are with all these mousekins but have you seen Pumpkin Patch Pixie? She’s gone missing and we don’t know where.’

‘Oh yeah, just yesterday. I was at the grocery field doing our weekly shop and bumped into her. She was rolling the pumpkins over, and over like she usually does. Ordinarily she’s happy as a lark but this time she did seem upset about something I said, now what was it…oh yes, I told her I was not going to make the full Thanksgiving feast this year, it costs too much so no jello salad, no marshmallows on yams and no pumpkin pie. It was then that she ran off and I haven’t seen her since.’

It’s not a big clue but it’s a clue so the search party scurried back to the grocery field and there you could plainly see if you were as small as a pea, little Pixie footprints. The prairie dogs are much bigger than peas so they asked the local locusts for help. People think they’re extinct but the locusts will tell you otherwise.

‘Locusts, oh locusts?’ The locusts were quick to respond.

‘Shush, what are you trying to do, ruin our extinct status, you know how those humans get, all ‘they’ll devour our crops, they’ll eat all our food?’

‘You do devour their crops and eat all their food.’

‘Last century, come on, we’ve evolved. We are totally into our online party supply business, Local Low Cost. Same day delivery.’ 

‘Small items only?’

‘Naturally. Can I interest you in some balloons, party poppers, birthday banners maybe?’

‘No, I’m good, actually we need a bit of help, have you seen the Pumpkin Patch Pixie, she’s gone missing and we don’t know where.’

‘That must be the one who offered me a pumpkin for my pie. I said what pie? We locusts don’t really do Thanksgiving. She seemed a bit upset when she found out that I didn’t even know how to make one. But I was busy packing party supplies.’

‘What about her Pixie prints?’

‘Now that’s another question? And I have indeed seen such prints going all the way from here to….here,’ the local locust pointed out, but the second ‘here’ ended at the river. Time to ask the badgers. Problem is, the badgers are busy, always busy building their damms.

‘Badger, Badger, Badger? Hey, Badger, Badger, Badger?’

‘Yo ho the prairie dogs. What brings you prairie dogs so far from home?’ the Big badger dropped his twigs and replied.

‘I know you’re a busy badger, I mean what badger isn’t, but have you happened to see the Pumpkin Patch Pixie, she’s gone missing and we don’t know where.’

‘Funny you should ask, Pixie doesn’t often come this far away from her pumpkins but she was looking a bit upset. She looked even more so when I told her I was too busy to make a Thanksgiving feast and especially no pumpkin pie.’

‘Did you see where she went after that?’ the prairie dog asked.

‘Apparently she made her way down the river, towards the cabin.’

‘The cabin? Not the people’s cabin. What if they come back for the holiday? We gotta get there fast, Pixie’s in danger.’

The Big badger did what badger’s rarely do, he stopped, stopped working on his damm and started working on another plan. He took his twigs and built a raft for the prairie dogs. The little pixie had an awful lot of fans. The prairie dog search party jumped aboard and zipped down the river faster than a zipping thing. They tousled and they turned, they swayed and they swerved. Finally they got to the cabin. But it was too late.

‘The fire is burning, that means the people are back. All hope of saving the Thanksgiving feast and the Pumpkin Patch Pixie is long gone,’ the prairie dogs bowed their head in silence.

 ‘Then that Pixie voice I hear is only in my head, is only in my head?’

‘No I hear it too!’ the entire search party ran to the cabin, made a prairie dog ladder and the top dog peered inside. ‘It’s Pixie! She’s alive! And she’s…baking?’ Pixie turned from the oven and scurried across the room, she flung open the window and knocked the prairie dogs to the ground. 

‘We’re okay,’ formerly top dog said from the bottom of the pile.   

‘Hello my furry friends, you’ve come just in time to carry my’….’ping’ went the oven timer, ‘pumpkin pies.’

‘Since when do you make pumpkin pies at such a size?’ asked the confused leader of the PTA. 

‘Since I found someone who didn’t have the money, or the time or the know how to bake them.’

The Pumpkin Patch Pixie couldn’t bear the thought of a pumpkin pie-less Thanksgiving. She was willing to risk her very own pixiness for it. Pumpkin pie is that good.

The End

Nanny Bea: Thank you Jules. The humble pumpkin redeems itself in the form of a pie, much like my Great, great, great, second cousin, twice removed, Lizzie Goodfellow.

Jules: Redemption through pie?

Nanny Bea:  Oh yes, she was terribly keen on lemon custard pie but was forever throwing away egg whites and keeping egg yokes, very wasteful, until one day she could take it no more, she whipped those whites into meringue and the legend was born.

Jules:  Ah, lemon meringue pie, one of my favs.

Nanny Bea:  ‘Twas mine too until I discovered Banoffee and you won’t convince me otherwise. 

Jules:  Well then I’d better not try, for me it’s pumpkin all the way. I’ll bring you some Thanksgiving leftovers next week when I come back for more tales and tea.

Thomas:  Go to NannyBea.com

Jules:  Go there to find out about all our stories and how to be on the show with a story seed or a wonder word. And do tell your friends about us. See you next week for more Tales and Tea.

[Be on the Show jingle]

Mr Announcer: This has been a Toad in the Hole production for NannyBea.com.