Once upon a time there lived a pumpkin and a goat.
The pumpkin found his way into a certain toddler's life amidst the contents of a birthday party goodie bag. This particular pumpkin's purpose was to bring joy to small children with bubbles but the small child who owned him never figured out that the stalk was a bubble blower or that bubble stuff sloshed within the hollow insides and so his parents, quite gladly, never shared the secret.
The goat had been living in a toy barnyard for some time but was rediscovered by the toddler with the glee usually reserved for old fruit snacks found smushed into the rug.
Neither the pumpkin nor the goat cleared three inches, but their power was mighty.
"Mommy, mommy! See my punkin and goat!" the little boy would scream at odd moments during the day and proudly display one in each hand.
"Punkin and goat, punkin and goat," the little boy would chant while walking in circles and swinging them in his little hands.
When going up the stairs, a feat that required his little hands to be free of any objects, pumpkin and goat included, he would say, "Mommy, hold my punkin and goat pease."
Most of the time, the little boy's mom did not know where the pumpkin and goat resided. Sometimes they'd show up in the play kitchen or under the table, but whenever they couldn't be found all the mom had to say was, "Pumpkin and goat?" and the boy could produce them in front of their eyes, an invisible tether binding them for eternity.
Of course, since the tether was invisible and pumpkins are not known to stick around much past October, a very bad thing happened. The pumpkin disappeared and the goat sat by his lonesome on a kitchen shelf that should have been out of the little boy's view.
For days he questioned their whereabout and for days his mom did a pretty kick-ass job of diverting his attention using a patented combination of lies and fruit snacks. And then one day he spotted the $#^@ goat on the shelf.
"MY GOAT!!!" he shouted, "Mommy, there's my goat!"
Mommy cringed and waited. He did not disappoint.
"Where's my punkin?" she heard laced with the same passion invoked when requesting a cookie.
The good, exhausted, creative mommy did her best but the toddler saw through the lies. He knew pumpkins don't need "me-time," he couldn't believe the goat would decide to achieve his dream of scaling Mt. Kilimanjaro if it meant saying goodbye to the pumpkin, and while he didn't quite understand the concept of hibernation he was fairly confident it didn't apply to pumpkins.
Desperation set in. This Mommy was no dummy. Pumpkin bubble blower inventory is halfway to China by November 1st!
And then she heard it. Sweet joy of joys. The little boy screamed, "MY PUNKIN!!" Hidden away in a compartment of the diaper bag she didn't know existed was the pumpkin. There were also some pretty disgusting peanut butter crackers and an old banana stem, but the little boy was so glad to have the pumpkin back, he didn't try to eat either.
Mommy, the little boy had, the pumpkin, and the goat had a sweet reunion and texted many pictures to Daddy who was on a work trip in Chicago enjoying dinner at (and this is true, couldn't make it up if I wanted to) The Girl and The Goat not quite, and likely not ever, appreciating the irony of his own girl and goat back home.