Costumes and Halloween, all thanks to the ancient Samhain Celtic Festival. What is it about dressing up that makes reasonable adults indulge and have child-like fun?

     Sure, there is Marti Gras, Saint Patrick’s Day, even the 4th of July but our fangs and fatigues, wigs and wands, and masks and outlandish makeup are reserved for Halloween. We adventurous Americans spend hours deciding on which character, searching for the pieces to the costume, phrases to say that fit the character, all before going to a party, to the mall, out on the streets, or simply opening the door to hand out treats to the kids in costume. It is our best chance to be an actor is full dress and mingle with other like-minded people.

     Hooray for Halloween. May the fun live long and prosper.

     What’s your favorite Halloween story? Here are a few you might enjoy.

“It’s 1985, and scandal surrounding Jim and Tammy Baker’s tele-ministry The 700 Club is big news in NC. Our local mall sponsors a kids costume contest before Halloween, and I’m searching for clever costumes for my five-year-old twins. The mall toy store supplies a convict’s stripes and horn-rimmed glasses. With an adhesive-tape mounted “700” on the chest, my dark-haired son is disguised as Jim. A bright mini-dress, false eyelashes and boutique shopping bag identifies my blond daughter as Tammy. A bribe to my son, and handcuffs, complete the effect. They win a “special award,” and have fun spending the bribe.”

Judith Geary, author, GETORIX: The Eagle and The Bull, Visit her website: www.judithgeary.com  for information about the book and about the Roman Republic

     Teacher had guessed fifteen masked children, but one was left. A hobo danced about, making donkey ears and sticking a red tongue through the mask. “Who is this child?” In 1946 trick and treat was foreign to a Pennsylvania farm child. One-room schools were the norm, and teachers had costume parties for Halloween.

     The shy child realized that a mask could hide both face and behavior and made the most out of anonymity. At last Teacher gave up and resorted to her attendance record. She went through the list alphabetically, matching unmasked faces to the names. The last name on the list was June Windle. “No! Not shy little June.”

     It was. I knew that making donkey ears and sticking my tongue out at the teacher was wrong, but I learned that day that I didn’t have to be shy. I received a Hershey bar as my prize.

 June W. Bare http://www.junebarebooks.com   “All Things” December 2008; “Soar Above the Yesterdays” November 2009

THE MILLER AND HIS SECOND WIFE by Juanita Tobin

The miller took another wife

 with hair of black satin and amber eyes.

She had floated to him out of nowhere

 from the shadows in cypress trees.

 His daughter cringed and drew away

 and neighbors had a lot to say.

Business came to a stand-still.

The wheels in his mill jerked.

He found nails in hoppers,

sacks of corn were slashed

and grain spread over the floor.

A storm shredded his door

 into a dozen broomsticks

and a horde of cats rushed in

with backs humped and teeth bared.

One, with amber eyes, sprang upon him

 as his ax sang through the air.

Hearing the roar of water,

he ran along the dam to raise the gate

and save his mill but lost his footing.

He was swept into a bottomless pit

holding a black cat’s paw.