Halloween's tricks often come before the treats are distributed


Never look a gift horse in the mouth. That may be a polite aphorism, but look what it did to the Trojans: they didn't look too closely at the wooden horse and the Greeks concealed inside the horse conquered the Trojans.

I haven't lost my mind and decided to write about 3,000-year-old European wars. I'm planning for Halloween.

My nephew and his friends offered to take my 2-year-old daughter trick-or-treating that night. What a lovely gesture, I thought.

She'll remember going out protected by her oldest cousin. How endearing. Of course, she's too young to really know what

Halloween is about, so she cannot pick out a costume.

The boys told me this. So they'll choose her outfit.

I am not entirely out of my senses. I knew they wouldn't choose a Barney costume for her. I knew they wouldn't dress her up as a little pink princess.

I expected a Power Ranger.

But I didn't know they'd want to dress her as a Squat.

The name says it all. A Squat is a short, nasty sidekick to the heroes in some war-game they play.

This is the part of parenting I hate.

I'm being maneuvered expertly; not subtly, just well.

My daughter will love going out with the big kids.

She really won't care what she wears if she can escape from Mom and go with the big boys. They're too big to go trick-or-treating unless they have an ulterior motive.

If she's not dressed the way they like, they won't go out that night. I've been conned. So here I am, with a sewing closet full of pink tulle, busy sewing brown jerkins and bandoleers for my peaches-and-cream complexion child. She loves it.


This is the week to vaccinate your cats and dogs against rabies very cheaply.

Rabies was the first disease for which Louise Pasteur found a vaccine. However there is still no cure for this disease: it is can be fatal if contracted naturally.

The disease is not fatal to some wildlife, such as raccoons; that's why this disease is still around. If your pets roam outside, they can not only get rabies from an animal's bite, but infect you or your friends.

So, getting pets inoculated is a good idea (it's also the law).

On Wednesday, for $4 The Howard County Health Department will give pets rabies shots at the Southeastern Health Center, 9525 Durness Lane, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Veterinary Services Department of Fort George G. Meade is helping out with this project.

Pets must be leashed or in carriers. Bring written proof of the last vaccination your pet has had.

For more information, call the Howard County Health Department at (410) 313-2642.

The Southeastern Health Center is next to the Savage Library.


Thank Forest Ridge Elementary students for brightening the drab wall of the Savage library this term.

The eight self-portraits by Allen Olsen, Catherine Swift and her pets, Caitlin Abrams, Lynn Brownlie, Josh Rosenbaum, Alexis Carroll, Rejuny Reddin and Renee Duffin liven the windowless play area next to the story room.


On Oct. 21, registration opens for Spine Chillers, a library program for children 6 to 8. Children are welcomed to give their Halloween outfits a trial run at these sessions.

The program is on Oct. 27 from 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. at the Savage Library.

Call (410) 880-5978 for details.


This is also a good time to enter your child's name in the You and Me Babe Lottery.

This library program for infants and their parents is so popular that registration must be done by lottery. The lottery will be held Halloween, so you have two weeks to register.

Parents will be notified if their child wins a slot.

The two sessions of You and Me Babe will be held Monday, Nov. 14 at 10:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. at the Savage branch library.

Registration lottery forms are available at any Howard County Library.


The Day-Glo bright sculptures in the display case at the Savage library were generously lent by Forest Ridge Elementary students James Cox, Tommy Newcomb, Ashley Wright, Stephanie Wiesner, Cindy Anderson, Jessica Bejiss, Jenny Hill, Danny Gill, Kris Varsa, Marsha Johnson and Katy Bernard.

They are astonishingly vivid works.


Tomorrow, Helaman Ferguson, a nationally known sculptor, speaks of his mathematically inspired works at the Savage Library. His wife Claire, author of a book about his work, will co-present this slide illustrated lecture.

"Romancing the Stone" begins at 2 p.m.


The Savage Volunteer Fire Company observes Fire Prevention Week by conducting an open house this weekend.

The Ladies Auxiliary will provide drinks and snacks.

In addition to tours of the station and equipment, the firefighters will demonstrate how they get people out of cars. Often during an accident, it is impossible to open the car doors to rescue the victims.

Firefighters and rescue personnel have to cut through the car roof, or use tools to pry open the doors. The firefighters and rescue staffs train, using donated cars, to open cars quickly.

The staff will demonstrate these and other skills at around 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Come meet the volunteers this week at the Savage Fire Station, 8925 Lincoln St. in Savage.


While we're on the subject of fire prevention, this is a good time of year to buy batteries for the smoke alarm, or to get an alarm if you don't have one.

With cold weather setting in, we all use more candles, electricity and fuel for the furnaces. A smoke alarm lets you turn a short circuit into a minor nuisance rather than let it become a flamming disaster.

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