The Weasels' Halloween

Part III

Preparations

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 warm.”

“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 cloudy.

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! <