'Halloween Hoots and Howls'


Editor's note: A collection of poems to celebrate today's holiday.

I'm Dressing Up for Halloween

I'm dressing up for Halloween --

Don't want to be a bat,

A mummy, ghost, or skeleton,

Or a witch's snarling cat.

Don't want to be a werewolf

With hairy hands and face;

Instead I'll be an alien

Beamed down from outer space --

A creature with antennae

And a green-and-purple hide,

But best of all a creature

With three arms on either side.

Six arms for hanging bags on

Before I hit the street;

Just think of all the loot I'll get

Tonight for trick or treat.

Recipe for Goblin Punch

In a caldron or a pot

Mix and heat till bubbling hot;

Six cups of water from a sluice,

Three cans of frozen orange juice,

One-quarter teaspoon nutmeg, ground,

One hoot of owl, one bay of hound,

Two teaspoonfuls of ginger spice

(Chant a spell while stirring twice).

Add lemon juice, one tablespoon,

As yellow as a witch's moon,

Plus a quart of ghoulish cider,

Pour and top with hairy spider.

Woe is Me

"Woe is me," the pumpkin said

"They plucked me from my garden bed,

Hollowed all my innards out,

And with a joyful whoop and shout,

Carved two eyes, a nose, a grin,

And stuck a lighted candle in.

Next they set me on a post

Where every goblin, ghoul, and ghost,

Howling, prowling through the night,

Filled my orange skull with fright.

"As if that wasn't bad enough,"

The pumpkin grumbled in a huff,

"They later baked me in a pie,

And now they're eating me -- GOOD-BYE!"

No One Will Dare-Double-Dare Trick-or-Treat

No one will dare-double-dare trick-or-treat

At that tumbledown house at the end of the street.

Not since that Halloween night long ago

When the moon rode high and the wind moaned low.

That's when a boy in a ghost-white sheet

Lifted the knocker and cried, "Trick or treat!"

But while he stood waiting, he wasn't aware

Someone or something was lurking in there.

Then an old hag with a wart on her chin

Creaked open the door and beckoned him in.

As soon as the boy stepped into the room

He spotted the tall pointed hat and the broom.

It was too late to run; he had no place to hide --

The grinning old witch hovered close by his side.

Then she shrieked and she cackled and she waggled her head,

"I love trick-or-treaters," she wickedly said.

"But the trick is on you, my delectable sweet."

And she gobbled him up for her Halloween treat.

From HALLOWEEN HOOTS AND HOWLS by Joan Horton, illustrations by JoAnn Adinolfi. Text copyright c 1999 by Joan Horton. Illustrations copyright c 1999 by JoAnn Adinolfi. Used by arrangement with Henry Holt and Co.

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