As for Uncle Pennywait’s potatoes, there were nearly ten bushels of them stored away down cellar, and Aunt Lolly had more than a dozen yellow pumpkins, one very big. Mother Blake’s carrots measured over a barrel and there were many, many cans filled with Daddy Blake’s tomatoes.
“Now who won the prize?” asked Mab, as she looked at her bushels of beans and then at Hal’s corn. “Did Hal or did I?”
“Well,” slowly said her father, “I think you both did so well, and you raised, each one, such fine crops, nearly the same in amount, that I’ll have to give two prizes!”
“Two prizes!” cried Hal.
“Yes,” went on his father. “Instead of dividing this one I’ll make another. I brought another ten dollar gold piece from the bank to-day, and here is the first one,” and he held up the two, shining, yellow pieces of money.
“Here is one for you, Hal,” went on Daddy Blake, “and one for you, Mab,” and he handed the children their prizes. “And how did you like being taken to the garden, instead of after flowers or to the woods?”
“It was fine!” cried Hal, looking eagerly at his golden prize.
“And we learned so much,” added Mab. “I never knew, before, how many things can grow in the ground.”
“Oh, you are just beginning to learn them,” said her father. “Wait until you go to the farm.”
“What about my prize?” asked Aunt Lolly with a laugh. “I’m sure my pumpkins will more than fill two bushel baskets.”
“Perhaps they will,” said Daddy Blake. “Well, I’ll give you a prize for the first pumpkin pie you bake, Aunt Lolly. And Uncle Pennywait shall have a prize for his potatoes, while as for Mother—well we’ll each give her a prize for the many good meals she got for us while we were working in the garden, and she’ll get a special prize for her carrots, which will give you children red cheeks this Winter.”
“Hurray!” cried Mab.
“Hurray!” echoed Hal. “It’s better than Fourth of July.”
A few days after this, when all the vegetables had been gathered in from the garden, which was now sear and brown because of heavy frosts, Mab and Hal heard their aunt calling them.
“Maybe she has some lollypops,” said Hal.
“Let’s go see,” cried Mab.
“Here is something you may have for Hallowe’en which comes to-morrow night,” said Aunt Lolly, and she pointed to a large pumpkin. “There’ll be enough without this,” she went on, “and I promised you one for a Jack-O’Lantern.”
“Oh, won’t it be fun to make one!” cried Hal.
Aunt Lolly showed them how to cut the top off the big pumpkin, leaving part of the vine for a handle, so that it could be lifted off and put on like a lid. Then the pumpkin was scooped out from the inside, so that eyes, a nose and mouth could be cut through the shell.
“To-morrow night you can put a lighted candle inside, and set it on the front porch for Hallowe’en,” said Aunt Lolly, when the pumpkin lantern was finished.