by Rosemary Gemmell
Here’s the little rhyme I wrote for my own children to perform when young:
Witches and wizards,
Broomsticks and bats,
Wild hair and face paints,
Long pokey hats.
Turnip face lanterns
Eerie and bright,
Lighting the way
On this dark, scary night.
Ghosties and ghouls
In the streets can be seen,
But there’s no need to fear
For it’s just Halloween.
The other fun preparation was making the turnip lantern to sit at the door or on a table. Rather than pumpkins, which we rarely saw as children, our lantern was carved from a large, knobbly hard turnip. After carefully cutting the top off and removing the inside flesh, an adult then cut out the triangular eyes and curved mouth and placed a short candle inside so the lantern face grimaced at all who came near.
Many families played the traditional dookin’ for apples with anyone willing to get slightly wet. Two forms of this were popular and both involved a large basin of water into which the adults placed the apples. In our family, we used to lean over the back of a chair with a fork between the teeth. After someone gave the apples a good stir, we had to take aim and drop the fork in the hope of spearing an apple. Other families dispensed with the chair and allowed the child to kneel over the basin to catch an apple between the teeth. Both forms had disadvantages! Toffee apples on a stick were also popular at this time of year and it’s no wonder the dentist was kept busy, with hardened tooth-rotting toffee covering most of the apple. Delicious when we bit through the hardness into the soft juicy apple but not recommended so much these days!
Halloween was enormous, innocent fun for children and, although many of these traditions are still carried on, these days we make sure an adult is never far away when children are knocking on neighbours’ doors.
About the Author: Rosemary Gemmell is a Scottish freelance writer whose short stories, articles and children’s stories are published in UK national magazines, in the US, and online. The Jigsaw Puzzle is her second MG/ tween book published by MuseItUp Publishing (as Ros). Her first tween book, Summer of the Eagles, was published last year. Her historical novels, Dangerous Deceit, Mischief at Mulberry Manor and Midwinter Masquerade (released on October 24th) are published under the name Romy, along with short contemporary novella, The Aphrodite Touch. Rosemary is a member of the Society of Authors, the Scottish Association of Writers and the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
Main Blog: http://ros-readingandwriting.blogspot.com
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Romy-Gemmell/e/B005WAJD92/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
All formats from MuseItUp Publishing: http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/new-releases/the-jigsaw-puzzle-detail