The Weasels' Halloween

Part IV

Halloween

As darkness dropped over Ballymore, thicker clouds rolled across the sky, and the wind picked up. It was cold and certainly felt like Halloween. The weasels brought the pies up from below and lighted the jack-o-lanterns. Waves rocked the boat, causing the gruesomely carved pumpkins to seem to come alive. From a distance it appeared that there were two black ghosts moving on a deck of strange rolling jack-o-lanterns. Wilder then began a kind of high-pitch, baleful wail. The frightening sound echoed around the island.

Sam left his new cottage around 6 bongs and swam toward the island. When he first saw the boat and heard the wailing, shivers went through him, and he stopped in the water. Was this the H.M.S Ballymore that he was to tow? It took some time for him to adjust to its new appearance. The weasels had created a boat that few would want to get close to this night. The residents of Ballymore didn’t believe in ghosts or so they said. However, very few would go out on Halloween night, and there was no trick or treating done.

After he calmed himself, Sam swam closer and yelled a hello. One of the “ghosts” moved to the bow and said, “Sam, there you are. Come on over here.” It was Wilder speaking.

“Is that you Wilder? I hardly recognise you or the boat. Everything looks so scary. It’s as if it came from another world. Are you sure you want to do this tonight?” he asked.

Both weasels were pleased with his apparent fear.

Wilde said, “This is the best night to do this. The spirits will be out. Have you ever seen a spirit, Sam?”

“No, and I don’t want to.”

He shivered again but approached the eerie sight.

“We’re ready if you are,” said Wilder.

Sam slipped into the harness and began to pull the boat along the shore of the island. Wilder resumed the wailing. Since only Sam’s head was above water, he couldn’t be seen in the dark. The “ghost boat” moved through the water without sails. From the shore you saw only the glowing and glowering pumpkins, the dark masts and rigging against the clouds, and two black shapes on deck. You heard the rising and falling of the wails through the wind. They stopped at the ducks’ dock. The Duck family was peering from their windows but not making any effort to come out.

Wilder lowered the gang plank and picked up the first pumpkin pie. Both weasels walked down the plank to the dock. It was only then that the door to the cottage opened. The ducks walked down to greet them and pretended that they had not been scared.

Wilder gave the pie to Devon.

“This is a good night to keep your doors locked,” said Wilde darkly. The ducks agreed, thanked the weasels for the pie, and quickly went back to their cottage. The locking of a latch was distinctly heard. The window curtains were then pulled tight, but the children peered through them at the boat. The weasels smiled and got back onboard. They were already having a great time.

Sam slowly pulled the boat from the dock, and the wailing began again. The swans were next. Unlike the ducks, the swans were on the dock to meet them. They were used to being out in weather like this and were less affected psychologically. Even so, after receiving their pie, they didn’t waste time in returning to their cottage. No need to tempt fate.

Now it was time to go to the mainland. The weather hadn’t changed; there was no rain yet. They headed for Bartholomew’s treehouse. The owl was perched on his branch, waiting for something to happen. He knew the weasels had planned some surprises for tonight. He spotted the dark shape, highlighted by the orange glow, headed in his direction. He heard the distant wailing. As it got closer, he was able to pick out some details and was very impressed by the effect the weasels had created.

He flew down to his dock to meet them.

“Welcome, everybody. Very well done, indeed! I’m impressed,” he said.

Wilde threw the ropes to him, which he wrapped around a post. The weasels jumped down and gave him his pie. Sam said hello from the water.

“Wonderful! I love pumpkin pie,” he said gratefully.

Wilde said, “We’re just getting started, and it’s going well. Be sure to be on your branch around 11 bongs tonight. There’ll be another surprise.”

“I wouldn’t miss it,” said Bartholomew.

“Well, we have a lot of pies to deliver so we must go,” said Wilde.

“I understand. I hope you all have a great Halloween, and thanks again.”

Wilde and Wilder climbed back onboard, and the boat left quickly. The next few deliveries were similar to the first ones. Next, it was the frogs’ turn.

Finn Frog watched from his dock as the “ghost boat” approached. It was incredible to him that the weasels had created this. They were so lucky. He wanted to be like them so badly.

The boat slid up next to the dock, and Wilder said, “Happy Halloween.”

“Happy Halloween! Happy Halloween to all of you,” he answered. “This is fantastic! How did you do it?”

“Just a few ideas, and a lot of effort,” said Wilde. “Here is a pie for your family.”

He gave Finn the pie. The rest of the Frog family remained at the door. They were fascinated but decided to remain a safe distance away. The weasels waved to them, and they waved back. Obviously, there were no hard feelings about the trick the weasels played a couple of days ago.

Wilder said to Finn, “How would you like to come with us for a while?”

Finn said, “Really? Can I?”

“Yes, really,” said Wilde.

“Wow, of course!” exclaimed the frog.

“Then, give your family the pie, and climb onboard Private Frog.”

Finn thought, I’m Private Frog. Yeah!

He hopped back to his cottage, and gave the pie to his mother. He told them that Wilde and Wilder had invited him for a short ride. Then, he hopped back and onto the boat. Wilder gave him a beret and said, “Wear this when you are onboard, Private.”

“Yes, sir,” he answered and put it on immediately.

The boat moved away from the dock, and everyone waved goodbye.

The chipmunks were next. The younger chipmunks, Colin, Conner, and Craig were jumping up and down on their dock. When they saw Finn onboard, they got even more excited and tried to jump on the boat as it docked.

Wilder said, “Whoa there! Please stay on your dock. Here, take this pie to your parents.”

The chipmunks grabbed the pie and ran back to their parents yelling, “Finn’s a PIRATE! Finn’s a GHOST!”

The weasels and Finn had big smiles on their faces.

After they visited the squirrels and rabbits, they got to Grenby’s hut, but he didn’t come out. Perhaps he was still upset about the flag incident. Wilder asked Finn if he would like to deliver Grenby’s pie.

“Oh, yes,” was the quick reply. Wilder lowered the gang plank, and Finn carefully carried the pie down and set it on the dock. He adjusted his beret and hopped back onto the boat like a member of the crew.

“Private Frog, unfortunately, your duties are over for tonight, and we would like to thank you for your help,” said Wilder.

Finn was disappointed, but he took off the beret and said, “Yes, sir. Thank you sir.”

He climbed down and watched as the boat moved away. He thought, someday I’ll be the captain. After a while he turned and headed for his home.

From Grenby’s, the threesome and their boat continued around the pond. The last delivery was to Dr. Brigit. She was waiting for them on her dock. She accepted the pie graciously and complemented them on their boat decorations.

As I have related, the “ghost boat” drew varied reactions. The weasels liked it best when the animals chose not to come too close. For a few hours they had felt like pirates as the chipmunks had yelled.

Now for the fireworks!

Sam was tired as he towed the boat to the centre of the pond, east of the island. He unhooked himself and moved some distance away so that he could have a good view of the show.

Wilder dropped anchor, and both made sure that the fireworks were coordinated properly. In their adventurous lives they had some previous experience with fireworks so there was no worry.

It was time to light the sparklers. One by one, they came to life with a sizzle and illuminated the boat in shades of yellow and orange. A number of animals were already on their docks. From the shore it appeared as if the boat would lift out of the water, propelled by the sparkling, sizzling light.

The fireworks announced themselves.

BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The concussions rolled across the pond and bounced off of the cottages, trees, and residents’ ears. Those indoors came out. This was not to be missed. Even Grenby ventured out. He sat on his dock and began munching on the fresh pie he found waiting for him.

A minute of quiet followed. That gave everyone some time to get settled.

BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

This time, the thunder claps were accompanied by giant dazzlingly white sunbursts of light that exploded over the pond. The next group quickly followed, rose even higher, and showered their white, confetti-like light over the first barrage. The rockets zoomed and boomed and zoomed with so many different colours and sounds. Each flash reflected off the cottages and trees. The whole landscape of Ballymore seemed magically lit. Everyone was impressed and oohed and clapped. They had never seen anything like this.

BOOM! WHOOSH! BOOM! BOOM! SIZZLE! BOOM! BOOM!

There were brief pauses to let everyone catch their breath. Then, they would begin again with new explosions of light and noise.

The rockets were to launch straight up, and 99% of them cooperated. About fifteen minutes into the show, a rocket, spewing showers of green sparks, decided upon a different course. Shortly after shooting up from the boat, it turned horizontally and headed right towards Petunia Porcupine. She saw it coming and, initially, wasn’t alarmed, but it kept coming. It shot over her head and crashed into a pile of leaves near her back porch. A small green explosion immediately ignited the dry leaves. She ran to the trough and grabbed a couple buckets of water. The small fire was soon extinguished. It all occurred in less than a minute. There wasn’t even time enough to become upset. She made sure the fire was out and went back to the dock. The weasels hadn’t even noticed. Some animals had, but they, also, saw that Petunia had quickly taken care of the problem.

The display lasted about half an hour and ended spectacularly. Successive rockets climbed higher than the previous, each with its own BOOM! Each showered the pond with sizzling, alternating white or yellow sparkles. Together, they formed a wide column of rising light. Four more rockets followed and climbed to the top of the column.

They exploded simultaneously!

BOOM!BOOM!BOOM!BOOM!

They capped the column with four large sunbursts of red and green light streamers. Each burst had thousands of brilliant points. The giant colourful “mushroom” in the sky moved eastward as it faded.

Darkness and quiet reclaimed Ballymore but for the cheering of the animals. With the show ended, they returned to their cottages. Most locked their doors. It was still Halloween.

The weasels heard the appreciation and were ecstatic with what they had accomplished. Unfortunately, they didn’t get to view the show as well as everyone else. After everything had quieted down, they extinguished the sparklers on the railings. Sam towed the boat back to where it had begun the evening.

It had been a great adventure for everyone. Wilde and Wilder were thrilled and excited, but Sam had mixed emotions. He loved the fireworks but still felt uneasy about the strange looking boat and black weasels. After all, it was Halloween. He was tired and right now, he just wanted to go home to his safe cottage and warm bed. He unhitched himself, told the weasels he was very tired and thanked them for a memorable night. The weasels were very grateful to Sam and told him so. He said goodnight and swam away to the east.

Wilde said, “We need to blow out the candles and clean up the boat.”

Wilder was disappointed that the night was ending. It had been as successful as he had hoped, and he couldn’t ever remember having a better time. He walked around and blew out the candles in the pumpkins. Wilde lowered the gang plank and went down to the dock to secure the boat. The church bell bonged twelve times. It was the witching hour. Something caused him to look into the woods. He noticed what looked like a patch of fog moving slowly between the trees. Oddly, it was moving against the wind. Wilde watched it.

He said, “Do you see that fog in the woods?”

Wilder looked over the railing and saw it, also. “Yes, what is it?” he asked.

“Well, it looks like fog, but it’s moving opposite to the wind,” responded Wilder.

They both watched for another minute, and then it stopped moving.

Wilde said, “I think we can clean up tomorrow when we can see better.”

Wilder was happy to agree and walked down from the boat. The cold wind continued to blow the clouds across the sky. Large rain drops began to mix in and stung their noses. Above the wind, Wilde thought he heard a low wailing sound.

As he continued to watch the fog, he said, “You don’t have to wail anymore, Wilder.”

“I’m not!” was the quick response.

They looked at each other, turned around, and jumped in the water. Wilde and Wilder Weasel swam away without looking back. Halloween had been everything they hoped for and more.