October 31, 2008

RadishJack RoundHead

All day yesterday I was looking forward to carving a pumpkin for Tristan while he watched. It's been awhile since I've made a Jack-O-Lantern. I came home and laid out newspapers on the table, set the pumpkin down and with Tristan by my side, I went to work on a hoped for masterpiece. The TV was on and while I'm carving away Tristan's paying more attention to SpongeBob SquarePants. After about a half hour I put a candle in to test it out and call for Charlene to come see it. I turn out the lights. Charlene says it's eyes are too close together and it looked to her like a special needs pumpkin. Tristan doesn't seem much impressed either. Tristan goes in the kitchen with Charlene and she lets him help make the Halloween cup cakes. Tristan really gets into it. I'm left feeling sorry for myself and sat down on the couch to watch another episode of SpongeBob SquarePants while they have their jollies in the kitchen.

I was curious about the origins of the term Jack-O-Lantern, so I looked it up on Wikipedia:

"An old Irish folk tale says that says that a lazy farmer named Jack was getting chased by some villagers from whom he had stolen, when he met the Devil, who claimed it was time for him to die. However, the thief stalled his death by tempting the Devil with a chance to bedevil the church-going villagers chasing him. Jack told the Devil to turn into a coin with which he would pay for the stolen goods (the Devil could take on any shape he wanted); later, when the coin/Devil disappeared, the Christian villagers would fight over who had stolen it. The Devil agreed to this plan. He turned himself into a silver coin and jumped into Jack's wallet, only to find himself next to a cross Jack had also stole in the village. Jack had closed the wallet tight, and the cross stripped the Devil of his powers; and so he was trapped. Jack only lets the Devil go when he agrees never to take his soul. After a while Jack dies, as all living things do. Of course, his life had been too sinful for Jack to go to heaven; however, the Devil had promised not to take his soul, and so he was barred from hell as well. Jack now had nowhere to go. He asked how he would see where to go, as he had no light, and the Devil mockingly tossed him an ember that would never burn out from the flames of hell. Jack carved out one of his turnips (which was his favourite food), put the ember inside it, and began endlessly wandering the Earth for a resting place. He became known as "Jack of the Lantern", or Jack-o'-Lantern."

You gotta love those folk tales.

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