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Now I know why I was such an obedient child ;). It all stems from a poem my mother used to read to us at night that was TERRIFYING! She’d open up this ancient book and read the poem from a piece of tattered newspaper taped to the inside cover. The book belonged to my great-grandmother and it’s called The Best Loved Poems of the American People, Copyright 1936.
I remember the goosebumps I’d get and can still hear my mom’s voice when she read us this poem that was so scary, it gave me nightmares. (Thanks a lot, mom!)
The poem is called “Little Orphant Annie” and it inspired the beloved “Annie” character of movie, radio and comic strip fame. It was written in 1885 by James Whitcomb Riley who wrote his rhymes in nineteenth century Hoosier dialect.
The stories in the poem each tell of a naughty child who is snatched away by goblins as a result of their misbehavior. The underlying moral and warning is announced in the final stanza, telling children that they should obey their parents and be kind to the unfortunate, lest they suffer the same fate.
Now a parent to three young children, I’m starting to believe my mom had ulterior motives in reading us this rhyme and I thought I’d share it with you to set a spooky tone for this gray and chilly Halloween night……
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We were “Booed” last night. If you’re not familiar with booing (I wasn’t, until I moved to Barrington), it’s sort of a parent-sanctioned version of ding-dong-ditch, in the spirit of Halloween, of course. My husband told me he forgot the boo-prank and was cranky after the first “ding” at our door last night. When he was greeted by no-one, he replied with a fist-shake while shouting something like, “why I oughtta!” When the “dong” came a few minutes later, the joke was on him when he found a candy-filled pumpkin sitting on our doorstep, along with this “We’ve Been Booed” notice you’re supposed to hang on your front door.
And tonight, my husband returned the favor as instructed on the “Boo” notice. (Which you’ll find a copy of at OurNeighborhoodWebsite.com/Boo) Our kids were in bed by the time the treats were ready. So I sent Bill sneaking out into the night with a few doorbells to ding (and ditch) on his own. And we’re expecting the pranksters to be out, in force, this Halloween. We go through about 1,000 pieces of candy here at our home in the Village. 1,000!!! The first trick-or-treaters arrive at the stroke of 3 p.m. and it’s a non-stop candy frenzy for the next four hours, straight.
The trick-or-treaters came so fast and furious last year, I didn’t even have time to dress my littlest one in his costume.
But wherever your tricksters are treating, it never hurts to remind them of those trusty Halloween safety tips. Here are a few from the Village of Barrington to put your little superheros to the test.…Continue Reading