- Written by Lynda Vital
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Well, the leaves were starting to fall and the nights were getting chilly. Pumpkins were starting to appear everywhere, and you know what that means - the big decision facing every child once a year - what to dress up as for Halloween!
The Horsefeathers gang was excited, too. Because they were such special horses doing such an important job, they also got to wear costumes for Halloween. They were all thinking really hard about what to be this year, because Kristi had told them there would be a party and parade and a special prize given for the best costume.
There were lots of discussions at turnout time. “Well, since my name is Harley, I would like to have a costume that has something to do with motorcycles,” said Harley. Scatman had an idea for him. “Why don’t you wear a black leather jacket and hat and pretend you are Marlon Brando in “The Wild Ones? He drove around town in a very cool motorcycle.” “Good idea!” said Calvin. “I saw that movie, and he was quite a rascal, he was! Well, I’m going to be just the opposite of Marlon Brando. Since I have had so many training sessions and am now such a good boy, I’m going to dress up as an angel!” Poco kicked up his heels when he heard this idea. “Well, Calvin,” he said, “You and I can fly around the arena together, because I decided I want to be Pegasus. Last year I was a unicorn, a mythological creature, and this year I’ll be one, too. Pegasus was a divine winged horse, son of Poseidon, the Sea God.”
Rover was having trouble thinking about what he’d like to be. Big Red had a very nice suggestion for him. “Well, Rover, you are so brave now, what with your triumph over the shape game and protecting the mares and all. I think you should be an Indian Brave. I bet Scatman would even let you use his feathered headdress from last year.”
Scatman, always a gentleman, agreed immediately. Rover was extremely excited about that, and asked Scatman what he’d like to be. “Well, to tell you the truth, I always loved that old movie about the Mummy - I bet Kristi could find a bunch of bandages in the First Aid Kit to wrap around me. It would be a very inexpensive costume, and also I’d come in handy if anyone got a cut or a scrape.”
Big Red and Ice had already agreed to just trade their last year’s costumes with each other. Red had always wanted to wear a tuxedo and go out on the town, and Ice just loved the parrot that Red wore on his shoulder last year. As for the mares, they loved their costumes from last year so much they wanted to wear them again.
The big day arrived - decorations were up and treats were set out. At 6:00, Kristi announced that it was time for the parade and the judging. The horses marched out one by one, giggling nervously, enjoying the ooh’s and aah’s of the spectators. There was lots of applause, and all agreed that it was going to be very hard to pick the winner. As the last horse walked out, one of the volunteers was shutting the gate when all of a sudden there appeared what one would recognize as a true, and very scary, symbol of Halloween - a real, live Black Cat! He sauntered in and stared at everyone with his big green eyes. His back-hairs were standing on end, and he let out a “HISSSSSS” that just about silenced the crowd. The horses did not notice him at all, as they had their heads in a bucket bobbing for apples - well, who could blame them! They weren’t too concerned with who won the contest, as the fun part was just getting dressed up in the first place.
People were starting to get a little nervous about this creature who just dropped in out of nowhere. After all, everyone knew that Black Cats bring bad luck. And sure enough, all of a sudden, that cat raced across the arena and headed right for the bucket of apples, startling the horses away. The crowd gasped, as he did something no normal cat would ever do - he jumped right into that bucket of water. Now, what kind of cat would do such a thing but a crazy, bad-luck-bringing Black Cat!?!?!
All of a sudden, the cat pulled himself out, shook himself off, and fluffed up his fur. Lo and behold, there stood our friend, Tigger, the friendly, purring barn cat, the one who lets everyone take turns holding him on their laps! This was no evil cat nor was he a Black Cat any more - he had painted over his tan fur to make himself look like a Black Cat, and he jumped in the water to wash it off. He had wanted to be part of the Halloween fun, too! He had not only looked like a Black Cat, he acted like one as well, and fooled the whole crowd.
Everyone agreed that Tigger was the winner of the prize, which was to be a bag of apples, of course, as it had been assumed that the winner would be a horse. Luckily, someone found a box of cat treats & presented them to Tigger. He snatched them happily and raced off into the night, probably to tell his feline friends about his dark-horse, or rather, dark-cat victory. The horses glanced up from their apple-bobbing and saw him dash off, and Rover said, “Man, that’s one crazy cat! I’m sure glad that I’m a horse under this costume and not a cat.” And he dove in for another juicy apple