My chickens had been listening to The Big Boy At The End Of The Street. He had been explaining Halloween to The Little Boy At The End Of The Street.
Gracie and the others had heard all about having the scariest costumes. They had heard all about saying, “Trick Or Treat!” They had especially heard all about getting their Halloween bags filled with treats.
And they decided it would be a fine thing for chickens to participate in Halloween as well. They may not have understood everything they had heard, but they definitely understood the part about getting treats. And if they needed to have scary costumes to get treats, well then, that was a fine thing too.
“Are you sure you want to have scary costumes?” I asked. “Why don’t you just dress up as sweet and pretty ballerinas and princesses for Halloween?”
“We can do that any day. Halloween is special. The Big Boy told The Little Boy Halloween costumes are supposed to be scary.”
I began to suspect I would be fighting a losing battle if I tried to change their minds about anything they had heard. It felt strange they would listen to what someone else said rather than me. They never even asked me about Halloween.
It really was mostly about the treats and what they needed to do to get the extra treats. Nothing was going to stand in their way. Chickens love treats.
As if my treats aren’t good enough for you! I thought it but would not say it aloud. After all, I’m not the only person who ever thought someone else had things better off than me when actually they didn’t.
“We are going to have a Scariest Halloween Costume Contest too,” added Pearl.
“You mean you are going to dress up like stray cats, foxes, and opossums?” I asked.
“Scarier than any of those. The neighborhood songbirds told us all about what is really scary for chickens,” said Bessie. She had already defended everyone from a stray cat, and so surely she knew about scary.
“So you are going to listen to what songbirds say about what is really scary for chickens? And you’re not going to tell me?”
“They have seen more of the world than we have. You are the judge,” said Gracie.
“So you can’t know ahead of time,” added Amelia.
“Then after the contest, you get to take us trick-or-treating with the other kids,” said Emily. “That part will be the most fun for you.”
My chickens had everything all planned out. They were going to make their own scary costumes. Gracie and Emily would be one team. Bessie and Amelia would be another team. And I was going to have the time of my life “getting” to take them trick-or-treating around the neighborhood with “the other kids.”
Pearl would help both teams as a “creative consultant” because she was a collector of scraps and treasures that could be used for making costumes. Pearl had experience since she had put on several comedy shows for us right in our own backyard. (She has also been molting, and even though her feathers were beginning to grow back, she was still too sensitive to wear a costume.)
So that was that. We would have a contest, a real contest, and there would be voting for the winner. Then they would go trick-or-treating with the kids on our block. My chickens should fit right in. No one would know they were really chickens under their costumes. It would be their one night out of the whole year to discover how people lived outside of their own backyard.
I sensed disaster in the making.
Would I get arrested for trying to pass off chickens as children just to collect candy from my neighbors? Would my picture be on the front page of the next morning’s newspaper? I could already imagine the headline: “Candy Thief Uses Chickens Posing As Costumed Children To Steal Halloween From Unsuspecting Neighbors.”
But my chickens had decided all of this before any of them even told me the least little peep about it. I had a suspicious feeling Pearl was the mastermind behind all of this. But who was I to crush their creativity or destroy their dreams of bags overflowing with treats?
I would soon learn “scariest” for chickens is very different than “scariest” for people!
Tomorrow: The Scariest Halloween Costume Contest. (And you, our readers, get to vote! As a bonus, there will be some Halloween cards to print and share!)
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