The Prince Mammoth Pumpkin

Article excerpt

The Prince Mammoth Pumpkin. By James P. Adams. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1998. 48 pp. $14.95 (cloth).

The Prince Mammoth Pumpkin tells the story of a solitary farmer who takes parental delight in the cultivation of a wondrous pumpkin. As the melon swells and ripens, it holds the promise of becoming the largest yelloworange pumpkin imaginable. However, on Halloween eve his prize is chopped to pieces, destroyed by vandals. This breaks the farmer's heart. In that moment his life is turned upside down, never to be the same again. This loss seems to awaken all the hurtful things, the long-ago things in the farmer's life. He is devastated. The rest of the book is concerned with what follows.

This wanton act symbolizes the irrationality of evil that always threatens to rob life of its meaning. At the end of the tale we witness a mysterious movement from darkness, loss and death to the emergence of new life and rebirth in the human heart. No small journey. No small mystery. A journey that we can see repeated in our own lives and in those around us. …