My dad was ahead of his time when it came to pumpkin carving. He was truly an artist when it came to sculpting the giant gourds. And he did it long before the era of pumpkin carving tool kits. He used kitchen knives and the occasional ice pick to create the beautifully artistic jack-o-lanterns which adorned our home.

I still remember the wonder we felt the first time our dad added ears to a pumpkin. Ears! We were amazed! We'd never seen a carved pumpkin with ears. Did anyone else know about this amazing happenstance? Good grief! How simple and yet- -how come no one else ever chiseled ears into a pumpkin? Daddy was a genius, that's all there was to it!

Of course my two sisters and I would each carve one of our own, which paled in comparison to what Daddy turned out, but after all we were just little kids. I had a fondness for the big-eyed, surprised look pumpkins with buck teeth - -almost every year. Several years I had to toothpick the buck teeth back into my pumpkin's face after I inadvertently sliced them off with a slip of the knife. My sisters usually came up with something much more imaginative than I.

If you are gearing up for the big "cut and gut" session with your kids, and you're looking for some fun and fanciful ideas you'll find them here.


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