Explaining trick-or-treat to children from Sweden.
Benny and Agnetha, two young children visiting
from Sweden, caught up in the US custom of
trick-or-treating in costumes, eager for an
explanation of such, listened with eyes
wide and faces aglow.
There goes a ghost!
And there flies a witch
on her broom, and there
goes our current President,
orange hair and all. Wherein
disguises give credence for the
door-to-door, entreating candy or
any treat deemed appropriate, and
also leave to soap windows or toilet
paper trees, or ring doorbells and run.
This, then, is the “trick” part of, trick-or-
treat, and remains a mainstay of our culture.
This one night, this end of October, this, “All Hallow’s
Eve,” (November 1st being All Hallows Day), permits
the cauldrons to flow with witches’ brew, permits the
howling of ghosts and the restless wanderings of
spirits, and the manic clawing and tearing of
ghouls unloosed from their year-long
All mix, then, in neighborhoods,
on avenues and streets, swarming
yards and lighted porches to ply their
pent-up scares and autumnal wooing.
Masks abound, as do long capes
with red and purple bags in
which the trick-or-treaters
stash their bounty.
As candy is sweet, so are the little ones
accompanied by their parents, participating
in this yearly ritual of end-of-October boo.
Thus, Benny, Agnetha and even I don
our Halloween raiment, then wander
off to join this cherished and
fun-loving custom of