My pumpkin child, Caboose Zachary Rocket, was taken from the quad sometime between November 1 and November 3. Help me find him (or at least the delinquent who abducted him)!

Someone stole my son.

I took the train up to Poughkeepsie a few weeks ago with a friend. We visited this little farm there where we picked apples and petted cows. Just before we headed back, we stopped by the pumpkin patch to browse. I told myself I wasn’t going to get a pumpkin unless it was perfect: no way was I going to haul a squash from Poughkeepsie, through the heart of the city, back to campus. But, after pacing the patch for some time, I laid my eyes on a particular pumpkin and immediately fell in love. I knew in my heart—he was the one. He wasn’t flawless, by any means. He was quite flat on one side and overall fairly disfigured. And yet, he was perfect to me. 

We—my co-parent and I—named our pumpkin Caboose. We lugged him from the farm to the train, to Grand Central, to a cab (where we, being the good guardians we are, buckled him between us), and, at last, to Barnard. For the next week, I kept Caboose in my room, giving him a little peck on his stem as I tucked him in each night. 

The weekend after we had adopted our beautiful baby, my co-parent and I carved Caboose in the quad, of course using plenty of anesthetics so he wouldn’t feel a thing. We gave him eyes, a mouth, a mustache, and even a middle name: Zachary, after the unaccompanied, little boy in the quad at the time of Caboose’s carving. Caboose Zachary Rocket. Our son. 

Worried my darling boy might stink up my dorm room now that his insides were both gutted and exposed, we decided to leave him by the fountain in the quad. It’s a safe area, we thought, and I could keep an eye on him from my window. Ah, how naïve we were! How reckless! But we were young and stupid then. We were not fit to be pumpkin parents. And now my guilt will follow me for the rest of my futile, Caboose-less life. 

You see, someone stole my son.

We should have given him ears to hear with; I’m sure he didn’t even see the culprit coming. I can picture it now—in the middle of the night, a thief approaches Caboose from behind. The criminal reaches out to cover my son’s ever-gaping mouth so that he can’t even produce a scream, and Cabooseis whisked away to god-knows-where. 

But this is where the story gets interesting.

I received a video the other day from my roommate of a man abusing my son. In the clip, you see Caboose sitting, ever-so innocently, in front of the fountain when, suddenly, a figure, tall, blonde, and dressed in black, spits on and slaps my brilliant baby boy. Now, I’m not sure that this is the same hooligan that abducted Caboose, but I am certain that this fool must be locked up. 

To find this delinquent, I asked around campus, pleading my case to all who would listen. At last, I discovered his name: Stuart Beal. (Or so I thought…)

I was sure that Stuart had some deep-rooted anguish in his soul: why else would he have acted out in such a way? So I contacted Stuart via Instagram, imploring him for an answer, and also to see if he knew who, if not him, might have taken Caboose. 

To my dismay, it wasn’t Stuart in the video after all. I was stunned. As was he: “lol that is not me,” he wrote. “I’m shocked tho[ugh] by how much that person looks like me.” After I apologized for assuming he was the felon, I felt utterly lost. Hopeless. 

What next? Well, now I begin my hunt for one, if not two, miscreants—the jerk who abused my son and the lowlife who stole him. If you have any information, please contact me via Instagram (@alicerodi) or by commenting on this post. And if the ***** *** ************ that abducted Caboose is reading this now, show your face, you coward! I will find you. I promise you that Caboose has not died in vain.

generic pumpkin via bwarchives

Caboose Zachary Rocket via Alice Rodi