Early in our relationship, Ziggy became part of the Halloween shenanigans at the Tivy household. He dutifully played along, but I know he also took pleasure in picking out a creepy mask or scheming up a new way to entertain trick-or-treaters.
We have a pretty good sized tree in our yard and it drops a lot of leaves. Just about every year, we would rake leaves into giant piles and both Rylie and Tanner took create delight in jumping in the piles. Rylie would sit in a pile of leaves and just throw them up in the air, letting them fall around her like confetti. Then she’d jump out of the pile and ask us to rake them up again.
As the kids got older, they became a source of leaf raking labor, but both of them still couldn’t resist the call of the leaf pile. They’d run, jump and screech with delight. The confetti leaves were still tossed and the pile would be raked up again.
One of the more recent years, we hadn’t really developed a plan for our Halloween set up and the day was drawing near. Usually we leave the leaves until after trick-or-treating because I think it’s more festive, but for whatever reason that year the kids and I headed out pre-Halloween to rake / jump in the leaves.
As we raked an idea was born. That year, I’d purchased a cute scarecrow to stand guard along our side walk. We raked multiple piles of leaves that year and one ended up in front of the scarecrow. It was kind of adorable, although I knew the wind would kick up at some point and the leaves would scatter, but still… What if we created a yard of scarecrows and most of them not so cute?!?
And so, we went about making our own scarecrows and setting them up in the piles of leaves. Ziggy was recruited to help with the engineering of our scarecrows, creating a t shaped stake for us to use. We gathered old clothes, some landscaping stakes, and some zip ties. We staked one leg of the pants and zip tied the bottoms. The kids began stuffing pants with leaves. Then we threaded the ‘arms’ of our stake through the shirt and zip tied the arms and bottom. Leaves were stuffed in to give some shape to our scarecrows. Hats, old masks, hockey helmets, and such were added to finish off the look.
Later that night, as we rehashed our brilliant use of dried up leaves, someone decided that our Halloween theme that year could be scarecrows. It was decided that we could all dress up as scarecrows and stand in piles of leaves, just like our fake ones. Then when trick-or-treaters least expected it, we’d jump out, move and / or chase them.
Ziggy has a really horrible mask that he loves to bring out on Halloween. It’s been a feature at almost every Halloween soiree and often is pulled out randomly in the year to startle me. It definitely made its appearance during the scarecrow Halloween!
Zig wore an old pair of jeans and a flannel. He threaded a hockey stick through the arms of the flannel so that he looked just like our scarecrows in the yard and donned his mask. He stood for hours in piles of leaves. Sometimes he’d move. Sometimes he’d just make noise. Sometimes he’d move from pile to pile as kids walked up and down the street.
Unless you stared at the yard for hours, you really couldn’t tell which scarecrow was a person and which was stuffed with leaves. A grown adult neighbor across the street had been watching and heard the surprised screams of passersby when Ziggy would move just enough to catch their attention or say something to them, but he couldn’t quite figure out which scarecrow Ziggy was. Toward the end of the night, he came over, thinking he’d figured it out.
Ziggy tricked him, scaring a high-pitched squeal out of him. There was laughter and an awkward high-five that comes when one’s arms are “staked”. The neighbor headed back to his house and came back across a few minutes later with a beer. The two stood, sharing a beer and talking about the way people reacted that night to Ziggy’s creepy mask and stealthy movements.
It’s moments like these that make me a firm believer that Halloween is not just for kids. It’s a chance for everyone to let their guard down and let their imagination run wild!