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Paul is out on the front porch, preparing for the annual influx of small visitors. The pumpkins are carved, I successfully repaired a large fake candle that flickers and makes weird noises, and Kitty's lent us hers, so it's sounding eldrich out there. The cauldron is filled with treats and waiting just inside the door. Paul even got out my Dia de los Muertos decorations and hung them.

While we wait for dark, in honor of today's festive holiday, an appropriate poem. It's also the one my parents gave me when I was ordered to memorize and recite one, back in elementary school. I can still recite it, and have, back when the Daughters were young enough to appreciate such things. So, without further ado,

Mr. Walter de la Mare Makes the Little Ones Dizzy

by Samuel Hoffenstein

Speckled with glints of star and moonshine,
The house is dark and still as stone.
And Fido sleeps in the dogwood kennel
With forelegs over his mutton bone.

Then out of the walnut wood, the squirrels
Peep, with their bushy tails upreared,
And the oak on the wood's-edge stretches his branches,
And combs with his roots his mossy beard.

Then ninnies and oafs and hook-nosed zanies,
And rabbits bred in the realm of Wales,
Dance and scream in the frosty starlight,
Swinging the squirrels by the tails.

Till out of the wood, Grandfather Nightmare
Rides in a chariot of Stilton cheese,
And eats the ninnies, the oafs and zanies,
The rabbits, the oak and the walnut trees.

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