The Woman and the Golden Pumpkin

So this woman was at a pumpkin patch when out of the corner of her eye she noticed something she’d never seen before in her entire life.

There hidden under a nest of vines was a golden pumpkin with a note that had something written on it. She figured the note might offer some sort of explanation, but curiously no one else seemed to notice the golden pumpkin, only her. So she crouched beside it and gently opened the note.

“Congratulations,” it read, “as the finder of the golden pumpkin you may keep it free of charge with one small request, follow this map to find the happiness you’ve been looking for.” On the other side of the note was a map with a big golden X in the middle.

Unsure of what to do, the woman left the golden pumpkin untouched and made her way to the checkout counter.

“So, I found the golden pumpkin,” she told the cashier, “but can I really keep it for free?”

“We don’t sell golden pumpkins here,” the cashier chuckled, “so sure, if you found one, it’s all yours.”

Worried the cashier might change his mind, the woman retrieved the golden pumpkin and went straight to her car, bringing the note and map along with it. Although strange, she followed the map anyways for her life couldn’t have felt further from happiness, so she figured she’d give it a chance.

To her surprise, the X led to a familiar place: her son’s Thursday night soccer field where on the bleachers another note and map waited for her.

“You’re almost there,” the note read, “just follow this map to find true happiness.”

She begrudgingly obliged as the map took her to a familiar park bench where she spent countless afternoons feeding the ducks. Resting on the bench was yet another note and map. This time, it led to her very own driveway. On the mailbox, yet another note.

“That’s it,” she huffed, “if this is some kind of joke, it’s not funny.”

She glared at the golden pumpkin. “You’re going back to the patch where you belong!”

There, the woman slammed the golden pumpkin down on the checkout counter, startling the same cashier as earlier.

“You can keep the golden pumpkin,” she scoffed, “but I’m done with the games.”

“Golden pumpkin?” the cashier puzzled, “I’m sorry ma’am, but what you’ve got here is an orange, everyday pumpkin.”

“It’s golden,” the woman insisted, “I can see it with my own two eyes.”

After overhearing the conversation, a man in line chimed in.

“He’s telling the truth ma’am, this pumpkin is as orange as could be.” The woman frowned, fighting back tears. Sensing her disappointment, the cashier sighed and leaned in close.

“Well,” he whispered, “it may not be golden to me or him, but maybe that’s because some things just take a special eye to see.”

The woman mulled over for a bit, then it hit her and a warmth filled her chest. With a nod and a smile, she thanked the cashier and made her way back to the car, back to the golden life that was hiding in plain sight.