STOR14S: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith reads 'Polly Tumpkin's Pumpkin' for new podcast

Yahoo Life Staff
·8 mins read

Your children can read along as they listen to short story writing contest winner Polly Tumpkin’s Pumpkin.

This STOR14S episode, written by Steven Kent and read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, will be released on Spotify and Apple Podcasts on July 20, or you can listen here:

And if you enjoy this story, learn more at GEANCO, who are helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and improving lives in Nigeria.

Click here to learn more about the STOR14S podcast series.

Polly Tumpkin’s Pumpkin

by Steven Kent

Polly Tumpkin loved her pumpkins.

She loved every size, every shape, and every colour you could possibly imagine a pumpkin could be. And after all that, Polly loved to eat pumpkins too. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin mash, pumpkin soup and roasted pumpkin seeds.

You name it, Polly would eat it.

Every year, in the village where Polly lived, there would be a village fair, held on the village green.

Year after year, Polly and her dad have tried to grow pumpkins to enter them into the vegetable competition, to find out who had grown the biggest and the best pumpkin in the village.

But Polly’s pumpkins never seemed to grow any bigger than the size of a small orange and they always seemed to be flat on one side. And sometimes they would even be quite squishy and mushy when they tried to pick them up.

“Right color.” Polly would say every year to her dad.

“Just the wrong size.” Her dad would always reply, scratching his head. “I don’t know what we’re doing wrong, Polly.”

This year however, Polly had decided that she wanted to have a go at growing her own pumpkin by herself and she had an idea.

In fact, a great idea.

“The best idea ever.” she thought. But she wanted to keep her idea a secret.

Polly got a small plant pot and filled it with some compost from her dad’s greenhouse. Then she snuck through the back door of the house, through the kitchen and upstairs to her bedroom, where Polly planted a pumpkin seed into the compost, and then she hid it under her bed and out of sight.

Her dad had no idea that Polly was trying to grow a pumpkin all by herself and Polly didn’t want to tell him just yet.

Everyday, Polly would take out the plant pot from under her bed, water the seed, and sit it in her bedroom window, so the pumpkin seed could get lots of warm sunshine.

Soon, the pumpkin seed grew ... and grew some more. Polly got very excited when it became the size of a small orange and had not become squishy. But she also knew that she couldn’t keep it in her bedroom any longer as it would soon become too big to hide.

Polly searched her bedroom for something to hide her pumpkin in so she could carry it out to the garden. But she couldn’t find anything, anywhere.

She looked all around the house, but still couldn’t find anything. On her hunt Polly bumped into her grandma who was doing her laundry.

“Grandma.” Polly asked in a whisper, “I need to get my pumpkin out of my bedroom before my dad sees it. Do you have anything I could hide it in?”

“Yes, I do,” replied her Grandma with a little smile. And she quickly picked and rolled something up in her hands and passed it to Polly.

Polly held it as tight as she could in her hands and ran up to her bedroom as fast as she could. Polly pulled out the pumpkin from under her bed and then she unrolled, and unrolled, and unrolled, what her grandma had given her to hide her pumpkin in. Polly couldn’t believe her eyes. It was a huge... gigantic... enormous... pair of orange... underpants, with elastic leg holes.

“PANTS!” she cried, “ORANGE PANTS, with elastic leg holes.” Polly laughed, and then laughed even louder, before realizing that hiding the pumpkin in a pair of huge gigantic enormous orange pants could actually work.

Polly quickly wrapped up her pumpkin and sneaked downstairs.

She quietly tiptoed past her dad who was sleeping and snoring in his favourite armchair just inside the lounge door.

She walked past her mum who was making dinner in the kitchen — pumpkin pie with pumpkin mash, of course.

‘Smells yummy,’ thought Polly as she walked through the kitchen with her nose up in the air, sniffing as she went out of the back door and into the garden.

Polly walked past her grandma, who gave her a wink and a smile, as she hung out her washing to dry and then Polly disappeared behind the garden shed.

A short time later Polly reappeared from behind the garden shed.

“Have you hidden it away?” Grandma asked, in a whisper.

Polly replied, in a whisper with a big smile:

“Yes, I’ve hidden it in lots of straw inside the huge gigantic enormous orange pants you gave me.”

From that day on, Polly watered her pumpkin every day. And everyday Polly’s pumpkin (and the huge gigantic enormous orange pants) grew bigger and bigger and bigger.

Until one day while everyone was having breakfast at the kitchen table, a loud crash was heard coming from the garden.

“What’s that awful noise?” Asked Polly’s dad. Everyone jumped up from the kitchen table and ran outside and into the garden. But when they got there, all they could see was a huge gigantic enormous pair of orange pants.

“It's my pumpkin!” shouted Polly with excitement. “WOW! Look at the size of it.”

“Look at my shed?” Shouted her dad. “What a mess.”

The pumpkin had grown so big that it had pushed over the garden shed which was now lying flat on the ground.

Soon, posters were going up all around the village saying:

VILLAGE FAIR,

THIS SATURDAY,

ON THE VILLAGE GREEN.

SPECIAL EVENT: PUMPKIN COMPETITION.

“Can I enter my pumpkin into the competition this year, dad?” Asked Polly, excitedly.

“Oh yes,” replied her dad. “But I’m not sure how we’ll get it to the fair: it’s so big.”

Saturday morning arrived, the day of the village fete. Polly and her dad were in the garden trying to lift the pumpkin into a wheelbarrow. But the pumpkin was far too big and far too heavy.

“I think we’ll need some help to move this,” said Polly.

“I can help,” called her mum.

So, they all stood around the pumpkin and held on tight to the huge gigantic enormous orange pants.

“Pull, pull,” called Polly. But the pumpkin just wasn’t going to move anywhere.

“I think we’ll need some more help,” said Polly, as she huffed and puffed and sat down on the ground.

Polly’s grandma came out of the house rolling up the sleeves of her jumper.

“Let me help,” she said. “I’m sure we can move this pumpkin if we all pull together.”

So, they all held on tight to the huge gigantic enormous orange pants and started to pull.

“Pull, pull,” everyone shouted. “Pull, pull.” But the pumpkin still didn’t move.

“Do you need some help?” called Mr. Brown as he leaned over the garden fence.

“Oh yes please, Mr. Brown,” said Polly. “We need to get my pumpkin to the village green, in time for the pumpkin competition.”

“Wait there,” said Mr. Brown. “I have an idea.” And he quickly disappeared.

Soon a loud noise was heard coming over the top of the houses all along the street, and Mr. and Mrs. Brown appeared in a helicopter.

The helicopter hovered above the pumpkin and Mrs. Brown lowered down a rope with a big hook on the end.

“Hook the huge gigantic enormous orange pants onto the end and stand clear!” Mrs. Brown shouted down.

Soon the helicopter started to lift the pumpkin and the huge gigantic enormous orange pants high into the air. The pants stretched so much, it looked like the pumpkin was going to fall out of one of the big leg holes.

“My pumpkin! It's going to fall out,” cried Polly.

“Don’t you worry yourself about that,” replied her grandma. “The elastic in those leg holes is so strong, nothing will fall out of them.” Then the helicopter turned and made its way towards the village green.

Polly, her dad, her mum and her grandma headed out onto the street, making their way to the village green where festivities were already underway.

They could see the helicopter in the distance, and the pumpkin was swinging from side to side, and swirling round in big circles, before disappearing out of sight.

Polly hoped that Mr. and Mrs. Brown had got her pumpkin to the competition tent on time.

When they arrived at the village green, they could see the helicopter at the side of the competition tent.

Polly ran as fast as she could into the tent, and only just got there in time to hear the winners name being read out.

“The winner with the biggest and best pumpkin this year is… Polly Tumpkin! With a special prize going to Grandma Tumpkin for the biggest, and the best, huge gigantic enormous orange pants with very strong elastic leg holes, we have ever seen!

Polly Tumpkin and Grandma Tumpkin were then handed the biggest trophy they had ever seen.

And Grandma Tumpkin’s huge gigantic enormous orange pants? They were last seen on the front page of the national newspaper.

The end.

Read more from Yahoo Life:

Want daily lifestyle and wellness news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Life’s newsletter.

More From