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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
It's Autumn Time

Autumn was in the air as were cooler temperatures, colorful leaves and huge pumpkins growing on vines in the garden. Duncan, the mouse, loved to be outside during autumn, as he loved how beautiful everything was. He scurried over to the corn stalks and ran in and out of them. They were beginning to die now, turning light brown and withering. Any corncobs left on the stalk were shriveling up and turning hard. He ran through the pile of leaves that Mrs. Dunlop had just finished raking. He hit them with his tail and they flew through the air, fluttering down like feathers. Duncan loved the smell of autumn leaves. They felt soft too.

The pumpkins were huge and bright orange. They lay on the ground, big and round, attached to long, snakelike vines, green and thick. The skin was smooth and soft and the smell of the pumpkins reminded Duncan of hot pie with cinnamon. One of the pumpkins had been carved. Lying next to it on the ground were white seeds, wrapped in stringy, slimy, sticky pumpkin goo. Duncan tiptoed around the goo and crawled through the mouth and sharp teeth into the hollowed pumpkin. It was big and roomy. Duncan thought he might spend the night in there. He lay down on the tender flesh and looked out at the garden. Kennedy, the cat, was running about, chasing dandelion helicopters. Duncan giggled, "Hee hee. Look at silly, Kennedy."

Kennedy ran right into the pumpkin patch. He stopped at the scraped out goo and took a lick. "Meow. Thatís horrible," he scowled.

Duncan was feeling mischievous. He felt like playing a trick on the cat. Hiding in the pumpkin, he began to make sounds like a ghost. "BOO! BOO! BOOOOOOO!" he went.

Kennedy stopped and looked around. "What was that?" he said.

Duncan started giggling softly. He did it again. "BOO! BOOOOOOOOOOO!"

Kennedy felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand straight up. "A ghost? Thereís a ghost in the pumpkin patch?"

Duncan spoke again, "Iím the ghost of the pumpkin patch. I like to eat cats for supper. Iíll get you," he said loudly.

Kennedy was terrified. "Donít eat me, Mr. Ghost. Please, donít eat me. I donít taste good at all. Duncan, the mouse, he tastes much better."

Duncan giggled again and said, "I donít like mice. I like to eat cats. BOOOOOOOOO!"

Kennedy didnít stay around for one more second. He ran out of the garden and into the house. Duncan laughed and laughed. "Scaredy cat," he chuckled. He lay down at the back of the pumpkin and fell asleep.

Mrs. Dunlop watched Kennedy run in the house. He headed straight for the carpet in front of the fire. "Feeling tired, are you?" she asked him, bending down to pet his white fur.

"Meow," he went, shaking.

"Iím going outside to bring in the pumpkin I carved. Iíll be back in a few minutes and then Iíll fix you some warm milk," she said and went outside. She picked up the carved pumpkin and carried it into the kitchen. Duncan was still sleeping inside of it. "Kennedy, come and have some milk," she called. Kennedy got up and walked into the kitchen. He spotted the pumpkin sitting on the table. He lapped the milk as quickly as he could and ran back into the living room.

"Whatís gotten into that cat?" Mrs. Dunlop wondered.

Just then Duncan woke up. He stuck his head out of the pumpkinís carved nose and saw that he was in the house. He could see Kennedy lying in front of the fire. As soon as Mrs. Dunlop went out of the kitchen, Duncan shouted, "BOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

Kennedy sat up and looked around. "I must have been dreaming," he said and lay back down.

"BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Duncan went again. "Itís me, the ghost. Iíve come to get you," he giggled.

Kennedy jumped up. "The ghost is in the house. It must be that pumpkin. Itís haunted. Yikes!" he gulped.

Duncan started pushing the pumpkin and it began to rock back and forth. "BOOOOOO! BOOOOOO! Iím going to eat you."

Kennedy started to shiver with fear, "Help!" He ran as fast as he could through the house and out the back door and Duncan didnít see him the rest of the day.

As for Duncan, he stayed in the kitchen and nibbled on bits of cheese and corn on the cob and enjoyed not having to worry about Kennedy eating him.

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