Friday, October 31, 2008

Beware the fairy princess and the puppy dog

Halloween has always been one of my favorite times of year, and that's even more true now that I have children. The near-infinite, oft-mysterious possibilities Halloween night offers to imaginative young minds draws me back, strongly, to the days when my two brothers and I would set off with friends down our dark street in search of sugar, however packaged (about the only thing I shunned as a kid was coconut which, thankfully, wasn't found in too many candies). Back in the early 70s, neighbors still gave popcorn balls and caramel-covered apples, and these were eaten with little or no concern for safety.

The only real danger associated with Halloween night in Ukiah, California, where I grew up, was the older kids with their penchant for throwing rotten eggs. I got hit by a few, at least, and needed to run quickly to avoid being hit on several occasions, but this generally added to the excitement of the evening, rather than detracting in any way (never mind the smell of a rotten egg, of course). I hope that my children and yours make it through their trick-or-treating careers as safely as I and my brothers did, and that Halloween still holds some magic and mystery for them when they have children of their own.


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