Just a Box

Cara McKee, a writer and mother-of-three from Largs is getting into the spirit of the spooky season…

We are super lucky. We get lots of hand-me-downs from cousins and friends and we know people who, like me, are nuts about Halloween, so our dressing-up box runneth over with witches, werewolves, ghost-brides, zombie surgeons, even cute pumpkins and autumnal fairies. There is a wealth of things to choose from when it comes time for the annual ritual of guising: That glorious Scottish tradition of telling jokes and singing songs around the neighbourhood, returning laden with sweets, monkey nuts, and sparkly plastic spiders.

But I don’t limit my kids to what’s in the dressing up box. I’m quite happy to fashion a costume if they’ve something special in mind. I was delighted to help create Mjolnir for my son, whose flowing blonde locks made him the perfect Thor. Last year Miss 5 wanted something making for her too. She was quite clear what she wanted: “A box.”

“So you can be like a box troll?”

“No.” She was quite clear on the point. “Just a box.”

So I cut some holes in a box. I offered to do more. We could draw a picture to stick on the front, glue milk bottle lids on and spray it silver to make it a robot, even a steampunk robot, with cogs and levers. All of this was rejected. The box was to just be a box. Was she sure she didn’t want to be a box troll? “Just a box.”

So Halloween came and Miss 5 donned her box. The big kids swiftly met up with friends and ditched us in search of richer pickings, but Miss 5 was happy going door to door with me, and her terrible joke: Q: ‘What did one box say to the other box?’ A: ‘Boxy boxy box box.’

I have no idea why, but that was going to be her joke, and that was going to be her costume.

Our neighbourhood is fairly new, with pretty safe roads, and lots of kids, so the children just call at any door which has Halloween decorations.

Miss 5 rang the doorbell of one house and a mad axe murderer answered.

She told her joke. I swear some tumbleweed blew by.

“Are you a box troll?” Asked the axe murderer. “Naw.” She said. “I’m a box.”

The axe murderer appraised her costume. “Did yer maw make that?” He asked her. She nodded. “Aye.” The axe murderer raised an eyebrow and gave a nod. “Very creative.” He said, handing over goodies.

At the next house a young lad answered the door. “Are you a box troll? I love that movie!”

Miss 5 was about to speak, but I interrupted. “Yes!” I said. “Yes she is.”

“Hang fire.” He said. “I’ll go get you a special cake. That’s an awesome costume.”

“But…” I held my finger to my lips and widened my eyes, hoping she’d get the message to stop talking. “Thanks!” I said.

After that she was willing to be a box troll. Just so long as we remembered that she was just a box.

Read Cara’s blog at ohwedo.blogspot.co.uk

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