Tell-It Tuesday: The Magic Pumpkins


This is a retelling of a story from India.

The author of this story is unknown.

“It is time for us to be married,” said Yura to his younger brother. “I know of a very rich lady who is not married. I think I will marry her.”

Mikhailo, the younger brother, thought about who he should marry. “I don’t need to marry for money. I want to marry someone I love.” He had met a poor orphan girl that he loved and so he married her.

Yura and Mikhailo had always been the best of friends. But now they started to fight all the time. One day, when Mikhailo came to ask Yura for some help, Yura shouted at him, “Go away and don’t come back to my house.” Mikhailo was sad.

When spring came, Mikhailo didn’t have enough money to buy any seed to plant for his food. “What shall we do?” he asked his wife. “We will starve. I think I will have to ask Yura if he can help us.” His wife was hopeful. “Maybe he will be kind to you this time.”

But Yura only got angry. “I told you to go away and not come to my house,” he said to Mikhailo with a loud and angry voice.

When Mikhailo got home, he told his wife that Yura wouldn’t even listen to him, and got very angry. “What will we do?” he said. Mikhailo was filled with despair and sadness.

Just then, a gust of wind blew. A small baby bird fell out of the nest along the roof of Mikhailo’s tiny hut, landing at his feet. He picked the delicate bird up. “Why, one of it’s tiny legs is broken.” He showed the bird to his wife. They found a small stick and made a splint for the tiny bird’s broken leg. They nursed the bird to health and sent her on her way.

Several days after the bird flew off, she showed up at Mikhailo’s door. “What is that in your mouth?” he asked. The bird dropped a pumpkin seed into his hand.

“Now we can at least grow some pumpkins,” he told his wife. They planted the seed, and soon, three of the largest pumpkins ever seen grew in their garden.

“Let’s eat one,” said Mikhailo. He cut the first pumpkin open. But, instead of being filled with pumpkin flesh, the pumpkin contained many different kinds of food.

“There is enough food here to last us several years.” Mikhailo smiled. “Let’s open the other two.”

He cut the second pumpkin open with his axe, and out many clothes, enough to last them for years.

The third pumpkin burst open as soon as Mikhailo raised his axe, sending gold and silver coins into the air.

Mikhailo and his wife were rich beyond compare, and no longer had to bother his brother.

Yura and his wife could not figure out how Mikhailo had become rich. One day, Yura sent his wife to ask Mikhailo’s wife. She explained everything to her.

When spring came, Yura watched the swallow’s nest under the eaves of his roof, waiting for a gust of wind to blow it over. But there was no wind. He got impatient, and knocked the nest down with a stick, injuring one of the baby birds. He helped the bird heal and let it go, anxious for it to return with a pumpkin seed so he could be rich like his brother.

When the bird returned, Yura hurried to plant the seed. He watched the vine all day and all night until the pumpkins were full grown. He was afraid someone would try to steal them from him. Finally, it was time to harvest the pumpkins. He grabbed his axe. “Now I will be even richer than I am!” But as soon as he raised his axe to cut the pumpkin, it split open and a huge flame burst from it, setting Yura’s house and all his possessions on fire. Yura and his wife were poor.

I hope you enjoyed today’s retelling.


Nature Mamaw

All images courtesy of except The Magic Pumpkins.


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