Pumpkin in the Jar: November's Monthly Club

Once upon a time, in a distant era, King Adoveneis ventured into the plains for a deer hunt, inadvertently parting ways with his companions. Wandering through the landscape, the king came across a humble hut surrounded by a garden, diligently tended by a captivating young maiden.

Approaching her, the king inquired, "Fair maiden, what crops do you nurture in this garden?" She responded, "I cultivate pumpkins and melons."

As fate would have it, the king grew thirsty, prompting him to ask the maiden for a drink. "We hunted in the sweltering heat," he explained, "and an overwhelming thirst has befallen me."

The maiden expressed regret, saying, "O illustrious king! We do have water, but only an aged, coarse jar to serve it. It seems unfitting for your Majesty to drink from such a vessel. If only we possessed a jar of pure gold, filled with water from a crystal-clear fountain, that would be a fitting offering for you."

Dismissing her concerns, the king declared, "Disregard the jar; my thirst is paramount. I care not if the vessel is aged, as long as the water is refreshing."

Undeterred, the maiden fetched the jar, filling it with cool, clear water. The king drank heartily and returned the jar. Unexpectedly, the maiden shattered it against the staircase.

Perplexed, the king questioned her actions, accusing her of lacking manners. She calmly explained, "I broke the jar, which belonged to my mother for many years, so that it shall not be used by anyone else after your touch, your majesty."

Silent reflection led the king to marvel at her virtues, and he acknowledged her as a good and virtuous maiden. As he journeyed back to the city, he pondered whether her cleverness matched her virtue.

In due course, the king tasked a soldier with delivering a new jar to the maiden—a jar with a minuscule opening at the top. The soldier conveyed the king's command: the maiden must place an entire pumpkin inside the jar without breaking it. The jar and the pumpkin must remain intact.

The maiden accepted the challenge, conveying that it would take time. Several months later, she arrived at the palace holding the same jar, now housing an entire pumpkin.

Examining the jar closely, the king confirmed it was the same one he had provided. Both the jar and the pumpkin were undamaged. Impressed by her cleverness, the king proposed to her on the spot, and she joyfully accepted.

In their royal chambers, the new queen revealed her secret, prompting laughter from the king. She had placed a pumpkin bud, still attached to a vine in the ground, through the small opening of the jar. Over time, the bud grew into a full-sized pumpkin. When it filled the jar, she simply severed the stem and presented the jar with the pumpkin to the palace.

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