Round and orange. The history of the smooth-coated field pumpkin (herein: "pumpkins") goes back to ancient times. Pumpkins appeared in the drawings of the ancient Egyptians, often next to canines that have been described variously as obvious ancestors of either the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Basenjis, or the Pharaoh Hound. The pumpkins claim to ancient origin is also upheld by its mention in great classics of literature such as The Legend of Sleepy Hollow; Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater; and Cinderella. As befitting such an ancient and storied gourd, the pumpkin should present an impression of size, shell strength and graceful symmetry to the observer.
Size, Proportion, Substance:
The bigger the better sums up the question of size nicely. No specific size requirements are promulgated at this time, but the height at the stem should be comparable to width at the equatorial or "great circle" girth. Pumpkins are not a wicketed breed. Proportion is most important as the stately gourd should sit firm and stable while presenting an easily carveable face. Pumpkins are filled with a rather stringy, orange substance. This should be hand-stripped out before showing. Top portion should also be humanely excised forming a removable lid to permit what owner-handlers refer to as "candling."
Pumpkin expression is left open to the aesthetic vision of the groomer. Plain triangle eyes and noses, throwbacks to the fifties and earlier, to be severely penalized.
Neck, Topline, Fore and Hindquarters:
Pumpkins possessing any of these features must be disqualified. Judges will call for a gourdologist at their discretion.
A shiny, deep orange or deep wheaten color is most desired. Pale, washed out color to be severely penalized.
A pumpkin of proper balance and proportion will roll with smoothness and grace. Out of round movement to be penalized to the extent it interferes with being stolen by vagrant teens, rolled down the driveway, and smashed to smithereens on the road.
The pumpkin is a stoic and stationary fruit, not given to fits of needless exercise.
thanks to A. Noni Muss
11 October 2000