Sunday, 1 November 2009

Broomstick not needed

I was, just in case, prepared for an invasion last night. Halloween is really only 'celebrated' by commercial interests in Australia. Thankfully it has not become popular among the general populace.
One year we did have two small children dressed as ghosts turn up at our front door. They were giggling and looked back at their father - someone we knew by sight - who gave an apologetic shrug and mouthed, "School exercise". They did not actually want us to give them anything. They were giving us something...handmade Halloween cards like cats. They had made one for each house in the street. After consultation with their father I gave them an apple each and they went off munching happily.
I am aware that some people do get an invasion of local children expecting to 'trick or treat' but our locals seem to think it is not worth bothering about. The healthy snacks I had ready can be used for another purpose.
The two small children have moved on but I often wonder what they managed to learn from the exercise they were given. I like the idea that they had made the cards...cutting out two circles, one large and another smaller, pasting them on to paper and then adding triangles for ears and other shapes for eyes, nose, mouth, whiskers and tail. It was obviously a mathematics lesson in shapes. They had to make it and then give it someone else. I talked to their mother later and discovered that they had only made one at school and the rest were made at home with some help. Our street is very short. There are very few houses in it but they still had to make a number of cards. They were giving something to people they barely knew. It was a reversal of the usual expectation.
I put the cat on the front of my tricycle for a week or so - until he decided to move on. I rather missed the cat but he obviously did not need my broomstick.


Rachel Fenton said...

I miss halloween - proper halloween - where you dress up in really well thought out costumes that took more than a day to make (you didn't hire them or buy a glorified bin bag from the dollar shop), and you'r carve a pumpkin and sit with it glowering at you through the dark and scare each other witless with scary stories. You were not, in our house, permitted to go begging but could visit neighbours and family with a well timed "wooooo"!

I love halloween!

catdownunder said...

That would be fun. I once spent an evening at a children's literature conference listening to Ted Hughes and Russell Hoban trying to out do one another with ghost stories. I can also distinctly remember some of us decided we needed to escort each other back to our rooms!

Pen said...

A part from the annual light party for kids and adults using Halloween as an excuse to get drunk it is all a bit of non-event here in NZ too. We had no trick or treaters at all (just as well cause I was so not prepared). We were never allowed to do it as kids.