My first thought was that someone had accidentally kicked it, or not so accidentally used it for batting practice. But when I picked up the pumpkin, it was missing a piece near the stem. How odd. Did our dog chew on it? But no, she would have eaten the whole thing!
I looked at missing portion of the tiny, ornamental pumpkin. The hole seemed like it had been made by something using small paws or very little teeth. Something had eaten my pumpkin!
We live in a suburban area, which leaves me with two likely culprits: the gray squirrel that lives in our tree and the eastern chipmunk that lives under our front step. I did a little research and found out that both animals like to eat fruit (who knew?). And pumpkins, I learned, are actually fruits, not vegetables. So far, so good.
So ... which animal ate my pumpkin? Based on the markings, I'm leaning toward the squirrel. The marks on the pumpkin look an awful lot like the ones I found on the bird feeder last year when the squirrel knocked it down. Besides, I've never known the chipmunk to steal any food from us. In addition, the chipmunk is a lot smaller and would have had a hard time knocking the pumpkin down from the porch.
For now, I've put the damaged pumpkin back in place on the front step. But I'm tempted to buy a bunch of ornamental pumpkins to see if any more of them go missing. I'd love to catch the culprit in action!