Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

It's a pretty quiet night here at the old homestead. From what I hear, downtown was fair crawling with costumed children happily trick or treating their way from store to store, but out here on this edge of town we hadn't seen any goblins.

Until a few minutes ago, when I heard a rapid fire prattle of Spanish in high excited voices followed by a knock (rather low down on the face of the front door). I grabbed the big bowl of treats and went to see who it was.

Five costumed children, under the age of nine, trailed by two women. One had a baby bundled up in her arms.

'TRICK OR TREAT!' came the chorus. So, I handed out candy and remarked approvingly on all costumes. They were practically vibrating with glee but every one said thank you without prompting. I only had to give Spiderman a little bit of a look to get him to lower his decorated brown paper grocery bag long enough for me to give candy to the two rather small princesses. To his credit, he looked sheepish about it.

As they turned to go, one of the women spoke quietly. And they all turned back around and said as one 'Happy Halloween! Thank you!' before they started to leave. The woman with the baby in her arms looked a little frazzled and tired so I held out two more of the candy bars.

'For you and your friend. It's hard work taking that many children out to go trick or treating.'

She smiled and replied 'Muchas gracias.'

'De nada.' I even made the little hand twitch that so often accompanied the phrase in San Antonio. I had also just used up about one tenth of my rusty Spanish.

She stopped. She thought for a moment and then spoke carefully but clearly.

'Thank you very much. Happy Halloween.'

'You're very welcome. Have a good night.'

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