Jessie moved down the row of leaves and sniffed the pumpkins growing on either side of her. Molly had brought her to the pumpkin farm to pick pumpkins for the annual Halloween festival at the North Pole. The plan was to pick a hundred pumpkins and have them shipped home. While Molly was busy picking up some gourds and Indian corn Jessie began to wander around the farm. First she visited the chickens and licked their heads but the hens didn’t like the attention and pecked at her feet with their beaks. Next, Jessie visited the cows. They tolerated the dog for awhile but soon became irritated and flopped her with their tails. She then started to follow a group of teenagers down the row she was now sniffing.
Jessie reached the end of the row and sniffed for a few moments until she was startled by a scream coming from an old shack. Lit in front of the shack were hundreds of pumpkins with menacing faces. Jessie shook when another scream came from the shack. She moved backwards trying to distance herself from the sound and came to an abrupt halt in front of a man. The man was carrying an axe and had blood oozing from gapes in his face.
Jessie cried out and shook. She slowly backed away keeping her eyes down. Suddenly, she bolted and charged down the pumpkin row. She zoomed past a little girl knocking her to the ground as she slid into a row of pumpkins beside Molly and the pumpkin cart
Molly leaned down with a frown on her face as Jessie sat beside her and shook. She held her side against Molly’s legs and then flopped down to sit at her feet.
“Jessie, everything’s all right. Where have you been to get so frightened? There’s nothing and no one here who will hurt you.” Molly leaned down and petted the dog’s soft fur. She pulled a dog cookie out of her purse and offered it to the dog but Jessie wouldn’t take it. Instead, she sat shaking and whining.
From behind Molly a voice spoke. “I’m afraid she wandered into the haunted village, madam. I’m afraid the screams, my axe and my makeup scared the dog. I followed her back to make sure the dog made her way back safely.” The man moved closer to Molly. He no longer had his axe but his face was covered with makeup and his arms looked like they were shredded with blood.
Jessie moved behind Molly and began to cry.
Molly reached behind her and pulled the dog up to her shoulders. “It’s okay, Jessie. This man is an actor and he is wearing paint. Some people like to be scared at this time of year and he is playing a part. “Now, come meet the man. Trust me. He won’t hurt you.”
Molly motioned for the man to come closer. He approached from the side and held out one hand for the dog to sniff. Jessie shook as she reached forward to sniff the man’s arm. Slowly, her shaking stopped and she sat up looking curiously at the man. She moved closer and sniffed the makeup on his arms. Her ears perked up and her tongue licked the makeup. She yipped, turned in a circle then promptly walked over to the rustling corn and began to sniff the stalks.
“It look’s like you’ve been forgiven. Molly laughed and shook the man’s hand. I think it’s time we left before Jessie gets into more trouble. I’ll have my men come and pick up the pumpkins tomorrow.” The man smiled and nodded as Molly called to the dog. “Jessie, it’s time to go home. “
Jessie bounded over to her. Her mouth was open in a grin. The farm had been scary but fun. She wasn’t sure what Molly meant when she said sometimes people liked to be scared but it didn’t matter. The man wasn’t hurt and Molly was happy. If Molly was happy then so was she but she would be even more happy to go home and see Santa.