I am a big fan of outdoor walking, running type of exercise. I don't dislike the treadmill when it is very cold, do not like tracks (the idea of walking in a circle over and over is so boring to me) but overall I prefer the outdoor walk. In our town it is a bit of a challenge, there are hills, and I do not mean little hills I mean we think we are the San Fran of the East hills. My walks around my neighborhood range from 3 - 6 miles depending on the day and many a time I try and get my sons to go with me. Now if you do not have children in the age range of 7 - 9 you may think - what's the big deal, exercise is good for them. Yeah... well my children who learned to walk in cities and who can deal have to be coaxed into the 3 mile walk and only the older one will attempt the 6 mile one. I know the hills.. the pant like old ladies at the Bingo hall circa 1975 but then they get a groove. In order to make these walks less of "really? how much longer? that hill? seriously Mom?" chanting I made a deal with them 1) they can bring music to listen to 2) they can ask for a story and I will try and make one on the fly.
This week with the beautiful leaves changing colors and the houses decorated for Halloween as I convinced them to go walking with me Sunday morning at 930 (they rolled their eyes too so you can) they opted for a story. Now the story has to be somewhat original or a continuation of one I started with them before. It usually has to star them and some of their friends as needed.
This week's blog is about our Halloween story. If you like it feel free to change the names to those of your children. Nothing makes them forget the walk, lights up their faces than to hear they are the main characters, they as children are going to rescue someone, they are the STARS....Happy Halloween to you and your little ghouls - holiday that is a big favorite in our house.
Once upon a time a village was settled on the Hudson River. This was a long, long time ago and there were not many houses. In Ossining Village there was a sense of community but lately it had been very sad - you see children had been disappearing. The parents took to locking up the houses and not letting the young ones walk by themselves, but still from several full school houses now there were only 2 left and they were not full. One day as the father went to hunt for dinner the mother asked her two young sons to go with her to look for fruits for the pie she was hoping to make.
Young Master Max and younger Master Cole set out with their mother. She carried with her a small knife for cutting the berries and a basket. The day was beautiful, the leaves decorating the forest with oranges, reds and yellows like someone had come by and painted it. They walked these 3 singing songs and laughing. Along the way they passed their neighbor Mistress Samantha and her lovely daughter Stella who were in their yard beating carpets - "good day" they called "good day to you as well where are you going?" young Stella called. They told her and waved goodbye. A bit further they walked by Master David's house, he was the town drawer, he made posters for the shops for many in town did not read and cartoons for the newspaper. His young beautiful daughter Olivia waved to the threesome and on their way they went.
Since they were busy looking for berries and laughing with one another they did not notice that the forest seem to close behind them, the road disappearing. They started to get a little cold and noticed the bright, sunny day had faded to a grey, overcast sky. Mother decided that maybe they should get back but when she turned in back of her the road they had been on was gone, no longer the beautiful colors but empty branches. She did not want to show her fear to her sons but they noticed too "Momma what happened to the road ?" the youngest asked. "Don't fret I think we must have taken a wrong turn, let's keep walking". Onward the threesome walked and suddenly before them appeared in the distance a huge castle. A castle unlike any dwelling in their town. A castle like there was in stories of the towns they had left behind in their native land before they came to the colonies.
They approached it slowly and out of the corner of their eyes Master Max saw a sign written on a piece of wood DO NOT ENTER DANGER ... he was proud for he could read but he was scared of what he saw. They huddled closer to their Mom who told them it was probably just a way to keep out strangers, though in her heart she was not so sure. They looked up in time to see the door slightly ajar (here you have to insert a creaking noise) and she said "Nonsense scare let's go see if they can help us". As they walked toward the castle they thought they hear a chorus of voices saying softly "Keeepp out" but when they looked there was no one there.
Inside it was warm and cozy with a fire crackling but they could not see anyone around, except for small shadows that seem to appear but as soon as you looked POOF they were gone. They saw a table with delicious food and young Max said "Momma remember Hansel and Gretel ? Maybe the food is a trap?" but Cole said "I am hungry trap or no trap I am eating". They followed him and ate and soon felt sleepy. As they walked away from the table suddenly they heard thuds, heavy thuds and a drag against the stone floor. They looked but no one was on the stairs. As they walked back toward the fire they saw a small book. Momma picked it up and it there was a tale of an evil lord who hunted children and made them his slaves, working night and day to make him candy. The book said never to say the words Candy Man (ok I stole that line from a horror movie kill me we were walking and this was on the fly) three times for he shall appear. Not wanting her young sons to remain scared Momma said "this is nothing but a silly story Candyman, candy man candy man" just as she finished the thuds and scrape came faster. They looked toward the stairs and where there was nothing before there stood a man with rotted teeth, a peg leg, swollen belly, red eyes "You called me now you will join the others". His breath was foul and suddenly there were all the Village children, clothes in tatters, looking tired. Suddenly Mother remembered what children do best - they hide and seek. So she took her sons aside and whispered to them "Max you take your sling shot for you are the best shot in town and gather the boys, have them use what they have and hide and when I say No you won't they should shoot forks and knives and whatever they find at him". "Cole you take the girls and lead them have them take their sewing lines and their sewing scissors and when the boys attack you charge and tie him up". Out loud she said "My boys we have been fooled and for this we must pay -- now go". So the boys left their mother with the monstrous man who was not sure what to do with her. The children scattered and Mother tried to bargain with the man to let them go.
Suddenly she said "Let them go" and he said "NOOOOO!!!" his foul breath covering her, but she stood firm and she said "You can't have them - NO you won't" suddenly from every corner shots of forks, apples, stones rained upon him until he fell down, from other corners ran the girls with their yarn and tied him up. When they righted him in a chair Mother approached him "why would you do such a thing ?" and with this he started to cry. He told a tale of being a mean, bullying, selfish lad. A lad who stole the last bit of food from a poor old woman who he did not know was a witch. A witch who put a spell on him that forever he would only eat the candy he so craved until his teeth rotted, his foot fell off from the sugar disease and his skin would like it had been cast upon rough rocks. For this he needed children to keep making the candy that he couldn't stop wanting though he knew it was destroying him. Mother took pity on him. She thought he had learned his lesson. She knew the witch and with the children she led him to her where he apologized as she lifted the spell.
Young Master Max and Young Master Cole had saved the Village and for this on that very day for all eternity the children dress like the monster and witches and go from house to ask for candy.
The boys loved this story - it helped us through most of our 3 miles. HAPPY HALLOWEEN and remember too much candy ...well you know what happens.