Pumpkin theft

The stealing of the pumpkins took place weekly, and involved the whole family (barring Aphel, who wanted no part of it). Analith, clambering over the ploughed furrows of earth with some effort, kept an eye out for the possessive farmer. Mirae, plump and pretty, perched on top of a large pumpkin a few feet away; her delicate features sure to draw any eye away from her unprepossessing mother. The twins shared their cloth sling with several smaller squashes. Leafsong knew that morally it was dubious to steal food from the man who already let them their cottage at a generous rate; especially since they were not short of money. It was, however, a remnant of her upbringing in poverty – that she was physically unable to live on the edge of a field of ripe crops and not avail herself of it occasionally. Or, weekly.

Once she had gathered up three large pumpkins, she quickly swapped them for the twins. Flora and Loredar, blinking in mild confusion, were laid gently out in the tangle of unearthed roots. Sticking her fingers in her teeth, Leafsong let out a shrill whistle. Ashaid, Aphel’s most loyal saber – whose job it was to protect the family whilst Aphel was doing business- slunk a few feet closer, his amber eyes fixated on the children. He didn’t care much for the skinny mate that his master had chosen (she was weak, yet greedy); but he would give his life readily to protect his master’s young offspring.

Leafsong staggered back to the cottage, appearing heavily pregnant with the quantity of pilfered food held against her belly. With a last surreptitious glance over her shoulder, keeping an eye out for Wollerton, she shoved her hip against the front door to open it, slipping inside. Aphel, sitting at the desk, took off his glasses and turned around. As he saw a flash of orange underneath the frayed hem of his mate’s shirt, he groaned.

“Darling, we have a bountiful variety of food from the market. Why does it always have to be pumpkin?”

“Because – the pumpkin – is – FREE!” she snarled through gritted teeth, stamping across the room to release her load in the corner. A squash rolled across the wooden floorboards and came to rest beside Aphel’s foot. He resisted the urge to stamp on it.

“Pumpkin omelette yesterday morning,” he said, trying to control the rising volume of his voice. “Pumpkin soup with pumpkin chunks for lunch. Mashed pumpkin with pumpkin balls for dinner. Stewed pumpkin for breakfast this morning.”

She bristled, defiantly. “So? Pumpkin is a delicious and nutritious fruit.”

“Vegetable.”

“What?”

“It’s a vegetable, not a fruit.”

“But it’s got seeds,” she pointed out, reasonably. He paused for a moment, the creases in his brow deepening.

“So it does. Hm. I will have to think on this.”

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Aphel said,

    Hahaha. What a clever idea of Leafsong.


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