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“Have you decided what kind of a costume you will wear to Mary’s and Tom’s Halloween Party?’ The barnyard was abuzz with the animals’ party plans.
Since G.G. stood for Grey Ghost, she thought it would be appropriate for her to wear a ghost costume but in grey rather than the traditional white. Everyone agreed she would be really scary. She would blend in with the shadows and with her soft cat-feet no one would hear her sneak up on them. She could get so close she could tickle them with her whiskers and purr or meow. “You can bet that’ll make most of the guests scream,” said William, the Turkey.
“Are you going as a turkey?” asked G.G.
“No, too dangerous. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I thought I’d go as a huge rat. Nobody’d eat a rat for Thanksgiving.”
“I would.” G.G. licked her mouth.
“You can’t go as a rat. I’m going as a rat,” said Rollie.
“What kind of a disguise is that? You ARE a rat,” said William.
“Exactly, nobody would ever think I’d go as myself.”
“Your odor will give you away.” G.G. grinned like the Cheshire Cat.
“Are you implying that I stink like a dirty rat?”
“You smell like food to me.”
“Everything smells like food to you.”
“Are you calling me a fat Cat, you bozo! Maybe you should go as a clown, Rollie.”
“Has anyone heard what the house dogs, Cookie and Coco are going as?” asked Paint the Horse.
“Probably humans,” giggled Rollie. “Mary and Tom treat them like human babies.”
“I heard Randy, the Ram and Sheila, the Sheep are going as a couple,” gossiped Gladys, the Goose.
“A couple of what?” asked Rollie.
“She’s going as Little Red Riding Hood and he’s going to dress as a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
“Are you going as Mother Goose?” quipped Rollie.
“Why not? I heard Carla the Cow is going as a bull.”
“Hey Flickertail, are you going as a wooly bully? Or maybe the Dali Lama? Oh, I know. I’ll bet you’re going as a Ramma Ramma Ding Dong.” Rollie rolled on the ground with laughter.
Flickertail laughed too. “Maybe I’ll go as a Bahama Llama,” he said.
“You and Paint should go as Sherlock and Dr. Watson,” suggested G.G.
Flickertail shook his head. “Too elementary.”
“What about Poirot and Captain Hastings?” said G.G.
“I rather liked Mrs. Oliver in Halloween Party,” exclaimed Henrietta, the Hen. “If you two go as Poirot and Hastings, I’ll be Mrs. Oliver.”
“What a clever idea!” said Paint. “We could all dress as characters from Halloween Party and reenact it.”
“Who wants to be the teenaged girl who was drowned while she was bobbing for apples in a house called The Apples, because she claimed she saw a murder?”
“Oooh me. I’ll be Joyce,” G.G. volunteered.
“Hastings wasn’t in Halloween Party,” Flickertail pointed out. “You’ll have to be Superintendent Spence, Paint.”
“No problem,” agreed Paint.
“I’ll be Leopold Reynolds, Joyce’s brother, who was also murdered when he tried to blackmail the killer,” said William the Turkey.
“I want to be Olga. I get to inherit Mrs. Llwellyn Smyth’s money when she adds a codicil and disinherits the Drakes,” said Gladys the Goose.
“You do recall that Olga’s goose is cooked and she never gets to see any of that money, right?” G.G. reminded her.
“I’ll be the forger, Lesley Ferrier, who tries to make it look like Olga forged the codicil,” said Frank the Ferret.”
“I’ll be Rowena Drake,” said Mallory the Duck. “At least, I’ll be one of the few main characters who isn’t killed.”
“I’ll be Michael Garfield. I get to create a magical sunken garden. I’ve always wanted to do something creative with dirt.” Rollie laughed manically.
“You are a dirty rat, after all.” G.G. shook her head. “I knew it.”
“Is everyone willing to take the time to rehearse until Halloween?” asked Flickertail.
Everyone agreed and the barnyard was full of props, apples, and animals for the next several days. They all busied themselves building backdrops, while Mary and Tom tried to guess what they were up to. When Mary finally asked Flickertail, he just smiled and said, “You’ll see.”
There was much excitement in the barnyard the night of the Halloween Party. Every animal, including Cookie and Coco, had roles in the play. None of the humans knew what to expect, but afterward everyone in attendance agreed it was a Halloween Party they would never forget.
Mary made a comment about how many of the characters “bought the farm.” Almost everyone decided to stay away from apples for awhile.
And like Mrs. Oliver, many adopted dates as their new favorite snack, at least temporarily.