Halloween morning was clear and cold. Many of the leaves had fallen.
There was some frost on the ground to greet Wilde and Wilder as they
emerged from their cottage. The weasels had been preparing for this day
for more than a month. Longer, if you count the time spent learning
about the boat. They still had a lot to do. As you will see, Sam and the
swans also played important parts in the preparations. The weasels were
looking forward to tonight with great anticipation.
They went down to their dock and looked out over the pond. They were
waiting for Sam. He had borrowed the raft from the ducks and would be
arriving soon. They noticed Grenby’s flagpole. The top three flags were
red-green-green. Translated, that meant rain, moderate winds, and cold.
Wilde said, “It’s clear now, but something must be coming. I hope it
doesn’t rain too soon.”
“It won’t. This is still going to be the best Halloween ever. It already
has been great,” responded Wilder.
He was remembering Grenby’s shock at the weasels’ weather forecast and
the new saying ‘You’ve been weaselled’. Wilde spotted the raft coming
around the island. Sam was obviously pulling it, but he was too far away
to be seen. The raft made the trip across the pond and approached the
dock. They still couldn’t see much of Sam as only his head was above
water. This would prove to be advantageous this evening. Sam positioned
the raft next to the dock. The weasels jumped on.
“Morning, Sam, how you doing?” asked Wilder.
“Good morning, guys, I’m fine,” he answered. “I lighted my fireplace for
the first time this week. It’s wonderful! The whole cottage is nice and
“The beavers are great builders. I think they will be enclosing the
pavilion soon,” said Wilde. “Our first stop will be to pick up the pies
from Mrs. Porcupine.”
“I’m ready,” said Sam.
It was a short trip to her cottage, and she was expecting them. Sixteen
large pumpkin pies were boxed and sitting on the counter. She had been
up since 4 bongs making them. The aroma in the kitchen was marvellous.
The weasels thanked her, quickly loaded the pies, and headed for the
west end of the island. The HMS Ballymore was moored there. They had
reserved the boat for the entire day and night.
Every time they saw her, they were impressed. The morning sun gleamed
off of the shiny, black hull. The boat, with its tall rigging, rocked
back and forth in the water, waiting for the next cruise. Sam tied up
the raft to the dock. Wilder jumped onboard and lowered the gang plank.
The swans had delivered a large quantity of fireworks and pumpkins. They
were sitting on the small dock near the boat. It took about two hours to
move the pies, pumpkins, and fireworks onboard. The pies were taken
below out of the sun.
The weasels thanked Sam for his help and reminded him that they would
“sail” at 6 bongs. “Sail” was not the correct term to use. The sails
would be down, and Sam would pull the HMS Ballymore around the pond. Sam
wished them well and left with the raft.
Now, they had much to do to prepare for tonight. The first task was to
turn the pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns and then mount them on the
railings. Wilde had made a scary face pattern. It was mid-afternoon
before the pumpkins were carved and in place. Each had a large candle in
it. Since they couldn’t count, the weasels didn’t know how many
jack-o-lanterns there were. I can tell you there were five on each side
railing, two on the stern, and the largest one sat on the bow. They were
very impressive and would be even more so when they were lighted this
evening. A few extra pumpkins were left on the dock.
The second task was to place firework sparklers on the railings with the
jack-o-lanterns. People used a lot of fireworks on Halloween, so it
wasn’t surprising that the swans found everything requested. The weasels
lined the railings, stern, and bow with varied coloured sparklers.
The third task was to arrange the remaining fireworks on the deck so
that they could be launched in an orderly manner. They also placed
buckets of water on deck just in case there was a problem.
The church bell bonged four times. That gave them enough time to eat
something and take a short rest. While they were eating, the sky turned
The final task was putting on their makeup. Wilde had gotten some black
dye. They mixed it in a bucket of water and sponged each other from head
to toe and nose to tail. When they finished, their appearance was rather
ghastly. Perfect, they thought! <