The goblins’ll get you!

Published 11:00 pm Friday, October 26, 2012

If Halloween is satanic, then it surely got by me.

Even now if I sit real still and let memory take me back to the Halloweens of my childhood, I can still feel the chill of a late October night and the thrill of, for just one night, being someone other than me.

Witches were not my thing. And Mama wouldn’t let me cut a hole in her bed sheets, so I usually “went” as a hobo. I’d dress in Daddy’s workpants and stuff myself with pillows. I’d wear Daddy’s old worn-out shoes, a straw hat and clinch one of his pipes between my teeth so tightly that I could hardly say “trick or treat.”

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Little witches, ghosts, goblins, a few Cinderellas and a fortuneteller or two would roam the neighborhood in search of candy treats.

Not once did we stop to hold a séance or stir lizard’s legs and owlet’s wings in a cauldron while chanting “Double, double, toil and trouble.”

No. We were little Halloween people out having fun on a chilly, thrilling October night.

Back at home, I’d sit on the floor in front of the fireplace and open my paper sack of treats in hopes of candy corn and marshmallow peanuts.

Mama would sing me a song about a jack o’lantern that was once a yellow pumpkin growing on a sturdy vine. “But now you are a jack o’lantern, see your candle light shine.”

Then she would read me about “Little Orphant Annie” and all would be well and good for this little hobo on Halloween night.

These late October nights, I let my thoughts go back to those cherished times when the fire was low and Mama would sit down in her rocking chair and whisper in a low voice, “Little Orphant Annie’s come to our house to stay ….”


“Little Orphant Annie”

by James Whitcomb Riley


Little Orphant Annie’s come to our house to stay

To wash the cups and saucers and brush the crumbs away.

To shoo the chickens off the porch and dust the hearth and sweep.

And make the fire and bake the bread and earn her board and keep.

And all us other children, when the supper things is done

We sit around the fire and have the mostest fun

A-listenin’ to the witch tales that Annie tells about

Cause the goblins’ll get you if you don’t watch out!


Once there was a little boy who wouldn’t say his prayers

And when he went to bed that night, a-way up the stairs,

His mama heard him holler. His daddy heard him bawl.

But when they turned to covers back, he was nowhere at all.

They looked for him in the attic and no the roof no less

And up the chimney flue and everywhere I guess.

But all they ever found was his pants around about

Cause the goblins’ll get you if you don’t watch out!


Once there was a little girl who always laughed and grinned

And made fun of everyone and all her blood and kin,

And once when there was company and old folks was there,

She mocked them and shocked them and said she didn’t care

And just as she kicked up her heels to turn and run and hide

There was two great big spooky things a-standin’ by her side

And they snatched her through the ceilin’ fore she knew she was about

Cause the goblins’ll get you if you don’t watch out!


And little Orphant Annie says when the blaze is blue

And the lamp wick sputters and the wind goes woo-oo,

And you hear the crickets quit and the moon is gray,

And the lightnin’ bugs and dew is all squenched away—

You better mind your parents and your teachers fond and dear,

And cherish them that loves you and dry the orphant’s tear,

And look out for the poor and needy cause they’re all about

Cause the goblins’ll get you if you don’t watch out!