A pair of city workers replaced a pumpkin stolen from a four-year-old Calgary girl's backyard, which she had been growing for months.

CALGARY — A Calgary mom and her daughter had their spirits lifted Monday by the kindness of city workers who regularly pick up their recycling.

All summer long, Krista Macdonald and her daughter, four-year-old Harper, tended to a raised garden bed in back of their southwest home.

The highlight of the tiny plot was their pumpkin, which Harper cared for, planning to carve it for Halloween.

It was just beginning to turn from green to orange when the family went on a recent holiday.

“We went on vacation and came home and it was gone,” said MacDonald.

“I was pretty sad. I was heartbroken. (Harper) was sad as well. We've had people picking our zucchini all summer and that's fine, we've had a ton of zucchini, so I didn't mind people taking those. But there’s only one pumpkin in the whole patch. And it was pretty evident that there's only one pumpkin in the whole patch and it was gone. So I was pretty upset that somebody would try stealing from us.”

Macdonald posted a tersely worded sign in her alley admonishing the thief, reading, "To the A--hole who picked our ONLY pumpkin: My 4 yr old daughter has been watching and waiting for it to grow all summer. I hope it makes you happy to steal from a child. I just think it makes you an A--hole.”

The sign was posted Sept. 16. Jump ahead to Sept. 27 and Macdonald heard a knock on the door.

She found two City of Calgary waste and recycling employees at her door, with a pair of pumpkins in hand.

“Jenna and Doug, they showed up on Friday to bring two pumpkins with a little note for Harper and a little box of chocolates,” said Macdonald

“I couldn't believe it. (Jenna) said that she saw the sign in the alley and I really talked to their heartstrings, so she wanted to do something to make a smile.”

The driver of the city recycling truck left a handwritten note with Macdonald and her daughter reading, “Hi, I’m Jenna I have the pleasure of grabbing your recycling and on Tuesday morning, I saw your note in the alleyway and it really grabbed me by the heartstrings, so I hope these two pumpkins can make your child smile.”

The note went on to say “Sorry you had to deal with some bad people at the time, but there’s some kind ones left.”

The crew also brought several City of Calgary colouring books for Harper.

“Oh, I cried. It was pretty overwhelming,” said Macdonald.

“It was really nice to have a complete stranger want to try to brighten our day. I was never expecting anything like this. But it was just really, really sweet of them.”