The Great Trick Or Treat Sneak

It’s been a horrible year and a half for damn near everyone, myself included, so, as a Halloween treat for all my followers, I’m offering a free preview of a Halloween-themed children’s book I’ve written, as well as the first rough of the cover design, which you can also download and print as a coloring book page!

This is a little dark and may not be suitable for the youngest of kids. There is talk of monsters who eat children, so parents might want to give it a once-over before handing it off. But, if you’re the type of person who loves darkly comic, yet kind-of-cute stuff like The Addams Family, The Nightmare Before Christmas, or Disney’s Haunted Mansion, then I think you’ll dig this. I hope so.

I’m putting this out to gauge reaction, then hope to have it fully illustrated edited, and published in time for next Halloween, so, please feel free to share. And, if you really enjoy it and want to help a struggling artist and his dog enjoy some Halloween treats of their own, you can leave a tip on the bar at paypal.me/craigmahoney or through Venmo at @Craig-Mahoney. Thanks and enjoy!

THE GREAT TRICK OR TREAT SNEAK

(Click to here to download a black and white .pdf of the above image to color.)

Long ago, near a town, not much unlike your own

In a cave in the woods, monsters made their home.

And every October, on the 31st

That’s when these monsters got up to their worst!

It’s the biggest night for each ghoul, ghost, and beast.

We call it Halloween. They call it The Feast!

A night when they’d chomp on the flesh and the bone

Of each naughty child who wandered off alone.

In this cave lived a father, a mother, and son

And they did not like people. They did not like fun!

Well, actually, that is not really quite right.

The son was intrigued by what he saw on that night.

The costumes! The candy! The whole colorful riot!

It seemed like such fun, and he wanted to try it!

So he went to his parents, asked if he could go

And was met with the loudest, most monstrous “NO!”

His father said:

“This night’s not for fun! Not for tricking or treating!

This night is for growling and snatching and eating!”

Then mother chimed in:

“Listen to your father. He knows what he speaks.

Why, we’ll feast on this feast for at least weeks and weeks!”

“Ok”, said the son, but deep down he was glum.

It was candy, not children, he wanted in his tum-tum.

He wanted chocolate and cider and costumes and toys

To go bobbing for apples, not for girls and for boys

So he made a decision, though his parents would freak out

“If they won’t let me go, then I’ll have to just sneak out!”

While his parents prepared for their night of debauch

He began his escape out from under their watch

He crept past their room and took one of the sacks

That this year would be filled with different kinds of snacks.

Then he dashed from their cave, through the woods, toward the streets

To join all the children in costume on their quest for treats.

As he walked to the door of the nearest house

This little monster was nervous as a mouse

 A jack o’lantern sat there as his reception

Was this the skull of some other monster who tried this deception?

But when the door was opened, instead of reacting with fright

The humans said his costume was a spooky delight!

And so it went on, from door on to door

No one had seen a costume quite like his before!

He received “oohs” and “ahs” and compliments grand

And best of all, candy, filling the sack in his hand!

He met other children and they invited him there

To the Halloween party held in the town square

As the evening wore on and the sky grew dark

He played games with the other children in the park

He went bobbing for apples, he ate cakes and pies

And in the costume contest he took home first prize!

But when he saw the full moon floating high in the sky

He knew that he must bid his new friends goodbye

With a quick farewell he ran off back to his lair

Fearing the punishment that awaited him there

At first when he’d gone, his parents were just curious

But, after all of these hours, now they were furious!

He nervously crept back into the cave

To stand there and take it while they ranted and raved.

“Where have you been, my dear? Where did you go?

Please tell us you weren’t with those humans below.”

“I went trick or treating! I played games and ate pies!

I went bobbing for apples! My fur won first prize!

And when I saw it was late I hurried right back

To bring you this candy I have in my sack!

Please do me this favor. Won’t you please try it?

You need more than bad little kids in your diet”

His mother and father both agreed cautiously

Then reached into his candy-filled sack a bit nauseously.

They each took their time engaged in close inspection

Before warily ingesting each bright confection.

Then their eyes opened wide, both lit up like the moon.

As they started to chew they began to swoon.

“This is the most delicious thing I’ve put into my mouth!

And I’ve eaten my fill from far north to deep south.

If only we’d known what we’d missed all these years

Skulking in the dark and hiding in fear.

No more scaring and growling and snatching and eating

From now on, each year, we’ll ALL go trick-or-treating!”

So, next year, when monsters come knock at your door

Look a little bit closer than you did before.

How do they look? How do they smell, sound, or feel?

Because most of them will be children, but some of them… may be REAL.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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