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The Great Pumpkin Debate by tenchi no mai

The Great Pumpkin Debate


Disclaimer: The characters of InuYasha are not mine, they are the property of Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Yomiuri TV, Sunrise, and Viz Media.   Only the plot to this story and my original character, Shun, are my intellectual property.  I do not make any money from the writing of this story. 

‘Italics’ = thoughts 

The Great Pumpkin Debate 

Shun shook his head as he sipped his mug of coffee and thought back to that fateful night.  Sesshoumaru blamed him for this debacle, and rightfully so, though he snickered.  He had always had a somewhat weird sense of humor.

 

~*~

 

{Flashback}

It was the weekend before Halloween and the weather had been deceptively mild for the latter half of October.  There had been several days of temperatures in the seventies, and the weatherman was calling for another week of this koharu bi  youri before the temperatures dropped to become more seasonal.  Kagome had called it “Indian Summer”.  Where she had picked that turn of phrase up from he had no idea.   Like most of the big cats, he was somewhat lethargic during the summer and preferred the cool weather of the autumn and winter. 

He had, on the spur of the moment, decided to grab Kagome and go over to the wolf dens for the pre-Halloween pumpkin carving contest.  Kouga had been talking it up when he had been at the shiro earlier in the week, and it seemed like a harmless event involving the younger pups of the wolf clan.  He knew that Kagome loved to visit the wolf pups and would probably get a kick out of helping some of the littlest ones carve their jack-o-lanterns. 

Everything went well until later in the evening when Ginta and Hakkaku began arguing about which one had grown the bigger pumpkin.  He thought the disagreement came about because both of the wolves had consumed quite a lot of the pumpkin ale.  The two pumpkins in question were very close in size, though not all that big, and Kagome had become exasperated with the twins and asked someone to go get a scale so they could see exactly how much each of the squash weighed.  It turned out that Hakkaku’s pumpkin weighed a few ounces more than Gints’s pumpkin and they decided to have a contest for next Halloween to see who could grow the bigger pumpkin.  Kagome got involved when she said that she could grow a bigger pumpkin than either of them, and that neither one of those pumpkins was all that big.  From the reaction you would have thought she had insulted their manhood.  Both of the wolves turned to her and said, “Oh, yeah?  You think you can grow a bigger pumpkin?  You’re on, Sis!” 

Now Shun knew that Kagome wouldn’t forget the bet, but was fairly certain that Ginta and Hakkaku, with as inebriated as they were, would have forgotten it by morning when they were sure to wake up with rather painful hangovers. 

The winter months  passed by quickly and Kagome had done quite a bit of research on giant pumpkins, including specialty seeds, cultivation and growth.  When she came dancing through the shiro with packet of curcurbita maxima seeds clutched in her hand, Shun laughed.  She said, “Oh, I’m going to show those wolves a thing or two about what I consider to be big!”  He grinned and thought, ‘Those two doofuses won’t know what hit them.’  

Late spring came, and with it a work day at the shiro.  Kouga had came over along with Ginta and Hakkaku, as well as several of the other wolf demons.  They were going to work on erecting the frame for the new tea house, which was being rebuilt at the site of the original teahouse which had been built by Touga. 

From the roof of the teahouse, Kouga squinted and shaded his eyes with a hand as he peered over towards the shiro.  “What’s Kagome growing over there in the garden?” 

Shun raised an eyebrow at Sesshoumaru, then looked up at Kouga.  “Oh, you mean the pumpkins for this year’s Halloween contest?” 

Ginta and Hakkaku glanced at each other then dashed off to the garden for a look see.  This was the first time since the prior Halloween that they had thought about pumpkins or this coming Halloween. 

Standing on the lower rail of the fence, they eyed the large plot of ground and the sprawling vines with the huge leaves.  Kagome quietly snuck up behind them, and stood with her hands on her hips, arms akimbo.  “Checking out the competition, guys?” 

The wolf twins couldn’t see any pumpkins yet, but a sudden memory niggled at them.  “What do you mean, competition?” 

Snickering, Kagome answered, “The who-can-grow-the-bigger-pumpkin contest?  Don’t tell me you don’t remember last Halloween and the bet we made at the Pumpkin Carving Contest?” 

Ginta and Hakkaku got a deer in the headlights look, then tried to bluff their way out of it.  “Of course we remember.  We just wanted to check on your pumpkins since we’re here helping Sesshoumaru with the teahouse.” 

“Oh, I wouldn’t worry about my pumpkins.  I’d worry more about your pumpkins.”  Kagome laughed as she realized they probably hadn’t planted their own pumpkins, but would pick the biggest two from the packs pumpkin patch.  At that point she knew she would win the contest. 

On the weekend before Halloween, Kagome kept careful watch as Sesshoumaru, Shun and Shippo loaded her biggest pumpkin into Shuns pick-up truck.  It wasn’t’ BIG by giant pumpkin standards, but at a couple hundred pounds it was going to give those dimwit wolves something to try and beat next year. 

Over the next couple of years, Kagome, Ginta and Hakkaku kept up the bet.  As expected, Kagome had easily won the first year. 

The following summer was very dry and her pumpkins got stunted and then developed cracks in them after a hard rain.  Ginta and Hakkaku were both disqualified for imbuing their pumpkins with traces of their youki when Kagome detected the aura surrounding them. 

The next year the wolf twins got smart and did some reading up over the winter, and Hakkaku’s pumpkin that Halloween beat out Kagome’s largest pumpkin by a mere one and a half ounces.  Kouga had rented a livestock scale for the weigh-ins and it had taken several of the wolf demons to, in turn, heft each of the squash onto the scale.  He had also gotten a copy of the rules from the IPA (International Pumpkin Association) and would be implementing those for the following year. 

 {End Flashback}

 

~*~

 

Shun had just poured himself another cup of coffee when Kagome and Shippo came in from the garden.  She immediately sat down at the breakfast room table and started to input data from this morning’s measurements into her laptop.

Makoto had loaded a program on there that would estimate the weight of the pumpkins from the measurements they had taken.  

Earlier in the summer they had placed the two prospective entrants onto wooden pallets covered in plastic sheeting to finish growing.  It would make it easier to move them into the pickup truck when the time came to take one of them to the wolf dens. 

“They estimate to be within a pound of each other.  I think this year it’ll come down to aesthetics to figure out which one to enter.”  Kagome nibbled on her thumbnail as she gave some thought to the two monsters in the garden.  “It’ll be either the prettiest one or, if we get a lot of rain this week, whichever one tops two thousand pounds by Friday.”  Kouga had moved the contest to Halloween day since this year it fell on a Saturday. 

Kagome had been up several times during the night Friday to check on the pumpkins, keeping watch for cracks that could develop since there had been some rain over the last few days.  She wasn’t going to cut the stems until the absolute last minute if she could at all help it.  Giant pumpkins could lose pounds of weight once the stems were cut and they began to dry out.  She crawled back into bed for another couple of hours sleep before they had to load her “baby” into the rented pickup truck.  Shun was going to go fetch the heavy duty commercial truck early Saturday morning.  This year’s harvest was too big for his little pickup truck.  

Shippo eased the forklift into place under the wooden pallet and began to slowly raise the forks.  There was a groaning noise as the forklift shuddered and began to slowly back out of the garden.  Earlier they had laid wide planks along the path to keep the forklift from sinking and getting stuck in the mud. 

Once they had the pumpkin loaded, Kagome covered it with a wet blanket and a tarp, then Sesshoumaru and Shun tied it down.  It was only a thirty minute drive to the wolf dens, but Kagome was anxious and snapping at the guys.  “Be careful, we don’t want the ropes too tight!” 

Shun rolled his eyes as Sesshoumaru tried to calm her down.  “Koi, don’t worry so.  We’ve done this for the last several years and have never had a problem.” 

“I know, but this one is special,” Kagome pouted.  She had finally managed to get two seeds from a world champion giant pumpkin grower in Canada, and had fretted over the plants since they germinated.  

Sesshoumaru drove slowly and carefully over to the wolf dens, and couldn’t wait for this day to be over.  He hoped this would be the last year for the “biggest” pumpkin contest.  It took up a lot of Kagome’s time and attention, which he felt could be put to better use directed elsewhere.  Plus they had all agreed that once one of them raised a pumpkin that weighed in over a ton that was going to be the end of it. 

Shippo and Shun followed the slowly migrating pumpkin and kept watch at the cross streets for any speeding cars along the way. 

Pulling into the compound, Sesshoumaru slowly navigated to the quad where the pumpkins would be displayed and weighed.  Kouga was ready with a forklift to get the giant out of the pickup truck.  Kagome again fussed and fretted as her “baby” was unloaded and placed between Ginta’s and Hakkaku’s pumpkins.  

When she slid the tarp and blanket off, the wolf twins jaws just about hit the ground.  “That thing is humongous!”  They glanced at each other, then at their own puny, by comparison, pumpkins and back again.  “We may as well just concede now and admit defeat.” 

Kagome won with a monster pumpkin that weighed in at 2,015.1031 pounds.  She claimed the trophy and the great pumpkin debate was finally over. 

Shun breathed a sigh of relief until he noticed the twinkle in Kagome’s eyes and wondered what mischief she was dreaming up for next Halloween.

~*~

 

fin

 

 

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