Beware of the long-haired Old Troll who lives under the bridge, and frightens Trick or Treaters as they cross on Halloween night. Still feeling sore from Big Billy Goat’s but in the butt, he hides away picking on little children when their candy bags are full. As they trip trap across his bridge on the their way home, he rises from the shadows and snatches their candy. He does not care that they run off crying all the way home. Being an old mumble grumble troll, it will take more than candy to sweeten him up. So warn your children on Halloween night to stay away from Sleep Hollow, and the Old Trolls bridge, if they want to keep their sweets!
Hunter’s full moon shines
Ghosts and Goblins come knocking
Watch out for the Troll
Frank at d’Verse told us to write a Halloween Haibun. He said we could even write a fiction prose to go with it. So that is what I did. One for the Kiddos young and old. Enjoy!
On the road to the Black Forest in Germany people seem to be celebrating Halloween all year round. They had their hedges and bushes trimmed with fun faces of ghosts and goblins. It could be very scary for little kids trick or treating on Halloween night!
Black Forest Faces
Halloween spooks all year round
Strange spectors say, “Boo!”
Photo: Dwight L. Roth
Frank Tassone asked us to write our Haikai poem today based on the tradition of Halloween. Last summer we saw these odd faces as we traveled through the Black Forest of Germany. I decided to write my poem about them.
Chocolate Drops and Hardtack
Growing up in a preacher’s family meant that I got in on all the background preparations that went on at Christmas. This was especially true when getting ready for our annual Christmas program.
We lived in a poor coal mining community of Southwestern Pennsylvania. The Christmas program created a special time for everyone, especially the children. They knew that after the program ended everyone got a special treat to take home.
A week prior to the program my father shopped for all the goodies that went into, the Christmas boxes. He came home with a variety of candy, English walnuts, and Brazil nuts. We all participated in the job of sorting the candies and filling one hundred boxes.
The small cardboard boxes came flattened and needed to be pushed into a rectangular shape and closed on one end. The long narrow side had a string inserted so it could be carried like a miniature suitcase. On the outside were colorful pictures of Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus, the Shepherds, and the Wise Men. The boxes were about the size of an Animal Crackers box of the past.
On Saturday we all gathered around our big dining room table and began filling the boxes. Into each box we put a couple of chocolate drops, some colorful hardtack, English walnuts, Brazil nuts and Hershey Kisses. We folded and locked the flaps together and carefully packed them into several large cardboard boxes.
As the program commenced, the atmosphere grew tense with excitement. Parents watched their little ones recite their piece, all dressed up in housecoats and holding shepherd staffs. When the program ended, my father announced that we had one last thing to do. Several adults passed out a box of candy, a big red apple, and a big navel orange to everyone.
The service ended and we all went home with a treat and a smile.
Printed in the Old Mountain Press winter anthology 2017
Photo: Dwight L. Roth
I am reprinting my story from last year. It brings back lots of good memories for me and hopefully you will enjoy it as well.
What happens when your teeth fall out? This afternoon I sat down to take a break with a cookie and a glass of tea. On the last bite one of my front caps popped off leaving me looking pretty scary. On Monday, I will see if my dentist can glue it back on before Halloween makes it permanent!! It is either laugh or cry, so for Frank Tassone’s Haikai today, it’s a Renga that hopefully will make you smile instead of cry!
The ugliness of this storefront
Does not diminish the long-held memories
Of climbing those steps as an eight-year -old.
Lunch hour at our elementary school
Gave us time to cross the streetcar tracks…
To go to Serafino’s store to spend a nickle or a penny.
Inside a big case with slanted glass
Allowed us to view all the many choices
Every variety of candy tempted our tastebuds:
Fireballs, cinnamon sticks, and Sugar Daddies
Licorice tubes in a box, wax teeth, candy cigarettes
Necco Wafers, wax bottles of sugar water in a box
Good and Plenty, red licorice, and candy bars…
So many to choose from for our little minds
Yes, the store may be closed
…and boarded up
But the wonderful joy of climbing those steps
Still brings a smile to my face.
Memories see things as they were
Not as they are
Photo: Dwight L. Roth
Today on d’verse Mish asked us to look at the beauty in ugliness. We are to write a poem showing a different perspective on what most people would consider ugly. This Fall I went back to my old elementary school and saw it was now a home where someone lived. This is the store where we used to go at lunch to get candy, if we hand any money to spend. It is now boarded up and looking pretty bad. But the memories are still there.