In case you haven't noticed, Halloween is coming. Soon. And if you've been in a Target lately, you might think it is tomorrow (followed directly by Christmas, of course -- no time for giving thanks, shoppers). "What I Will Be for Halloween" has been the main topic of the after-school snack table for several weeks, and the costumes have finally been decided. Older Girl will be a cowgirl; she thought for a while that she would go all old-school and cut holes in a sheet to be a ghost, a la E.T., but then she got one of those horses on a stick for her birthday and that clinched it for the cowgirl. The Boy had considerably less trouble deciding; he will be James, The Red Engine (from Thomas the Tank Engine, for all of you who may not be Sodor Islanders). And Baby Girl will be a chicken -- oh yes, no one is spared in our house!
So in the spirit of Halloween, I submit to you a story poem written entirely by Older Girl Langan, aged 7:
Halloween spooks are everywhere,
On the ground or in the air.
Be very careful where you walk,
A spook could catch you in the dark.
Haunted houses, watch out, for
In them you'll find spooks galore.
If you're in a haunted house,
Watch out for the magic mouse.
They eat eyeballs, they drink blood,
They will even devour mud!
Spooks carve jack-o-lanterns, too.
But their faces frighten you!
They go trick-or-treating, too,
But they don't wear costumes like you!
Halloween spooks love to play pranks!
They even play them on fish in tanks!
Now your friends must say good-bye,
But they will always be nearby!
I wish I had a scanner, because I think what I love best are the illustrations, especially the artist's rendering of a giant spider, who I was informed was the "King Spider," complete with a crown, robe, and scepter, with little spiders-in-waiting weaving webs for him. I don't know where the lines about "eating eyeballs" came from, because she is notoriously non-gory, but I love the fact that she puts "devouring mud" right up there with "drinking blood." I asked her about it and she said, "Well some people think Halloween has to be gross, so I just put that in there." (I guess she's trying to reach a larger demographic?)
She made the poem into a book and stapled it together, with a dedication page that reads: "For the Family." The back cover says, "A spooky Halloween tale!" and she told me that it was supposed to be like the back covers of real books where you can "get an idea about what the book is about."
She's a pretty fantastic kid, that Older Girl. Man, do I love her.