Please give a warm welcome to David Blalock, who is guest posting today at BLH. Thank you David for stopping by!
A HALLOWEEN TALE (Based on true events)
by H. David Blalock
Once upon a time, a long time ago, we had a Halloween party at our house. Now, this house (in which I no longer live) is located off the main highway a bit and nestled within a heavy wood. As such, it afforded the perfect venue for large Halloween gatherings, including bonfires and other less perilous activities. These Halloween get-togethers had become something of a tradition for us, and each year got a little larger. This particular one was no exception.
However, amongst the several dozen attendees it was discovered that we had an unexpected guest. It seems that two of the revelers exposed a pagan squirrel in our midst. They immediately came to me to reveal this intrusion and I went to investigate, suspecting that another of the guests had merely neglected to mention they had brought along their pet. I discovered, to my bemusement, that the revelers directed me to my own living room where the interloper sat silently waiting.
Now, it happened that this squirrel was actually a life-sized, painted wooden animal, part of a tray we bought built to hold nuts and incorporating a nutcracker in its teeth. This fact, however, did not deter the revelers (who had imbibed a prodigious amount of our home brew, nicknamed "rocket fuel" - draw your own conclusions about that), who promptly decided it was their holy duty to convert this pagan squirrel to Christianity. With the ardor of the Inquisitors of old, they set about their task.
There followed scenes reminiscent of the mind of William Friedkin (director of the classic horror film The Exorcist, for those of you too young to remember, or those of you who don't care). Howls of outrage at the squirrel's reticence in the face of the revelers' pious demands, imprecations about the squirrel's imminent damnation should it continue its stubborn resistance, and a general feeling of impending failure pervaded the congregation (the ruckus had attracted an audience of the remainder of the revelers, who went about encouraging the evangelists).
It wasn't until the talk of burning the little fellow at the stake that I had to step in. Even then, I found myself in the unenviable position of defending the heretical animal. I was reminded of an Arthur Miller play (The Crucible, of course. Doesn't anybody go to community theater anymore?) as I plead for the remission of sentencing (and that they refrain from burning the house to the ground).
At long last my glibness bore fruit and the squirrel was given a conditional reprieve. It had to promise, however, to refrain from worshiping the devil every other Sabbath and to never again use the Lord's name in vain. It was given the option, but greatly encouraged, to restrict its use of grimoires to those that deal only with spicy recipes and none that incorporate more than three eyes of newt at a time.
I am happy to report that the squirrel (with whom I have lately lost touch) was strictly adhering to those guidelines last I knew. The Halloween revelers were at least that successful in their endeavors. I can only assume that squirrel and evangelists lived happily ever after.
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