Listed as Trick or Treat – 600 CD Copies Made and handed out for free at the 2011 Ashland, Oregon Halloween Parade.
Friar Tuck – The Parade
© Shields Bialasik – Final Edited Version 3
It was the week before Halloween in the sleepy mountain village of a far away land. It was a serene and majestic place, known for its beautiful forests, colorful hillsides, and friendly people. A place where neighbors exchanged greetings, children played outside, and dogs barked at night.
It had always been this way, a magical spot; and, ever since anyone could remember, there had always been a long-standing tradition. Of course, there were many traditions in this magical town, but the tradition I am talking about was the yearly Halloween Parade.
It was just this event that Friar Tuck and Ralph were eagerly preparing for. Along with hundreds of other children, they had been working day and night, anticipating the upcoming celebration.
Pirates… Witches… Warlocks… and Super Heroes.
Ghosts… Goblins… and Monsters of all shapes and sizes were preparing to take over the town in a celebration of fun.
It was a Halloween parade of epic proportions. A lively procession of friends and neighbors, gathering together from far and wide. A welcoming of autumn and a celebration of the age-old tradition of Halloween.
And of course… C A N D Y !!
Now, if there was one thing that Friar Tuck and Ralph loved more than a good old parade, it would have to be… CANDY!
There was absolutely no way on earth that either of them would ever miss this big event.
Even when Friar Tuck had been sick with the chicken pox, he still attended the parade.
Of course, the many children who ended up catching the chicken pox from Friar Tuck were not extremely grateful, but it did show his dedication. In fact, as far back as Friar Tuck or Ralph could remember, they had saved every single costume they had ever worn or created. That was a lot of costumes!
The parade was held near the end of the day, an hour or two before sunset. It always started up by the library and then marched across town, ending in the plaza. Children of all ages would then begin their trick-or-treating adventures.
The best part of the parade, whether you were watching it or marching in it, would be the hundreds of colorful costumes and smiling faces. Oftentimes you would try to find your friends and neighbors, trying to guess who was disguised as whom, because after it became dark, well… that’s when the real ghosts and goblins would come out to play!
Plus it’s just hard to see in the dark!
This year would mark a special Halloween celebration. Friar Tuck and Ralph had grown a giant pumpkin, which they were now attaching to their bicycle. They were creating a giant pumpkin carriage. Friar Tuck was planning to ride inside, collecting candy, while Ralph would pedal in the parade.
It had been Friar Tuck’s idea. He had purchased the magic seeds at the farm coop in the spring. He had made sure to water them daily.
Well, the hard work had paid off with a giant orange and red pumpkin now being attached to the back of Friar Tuck and Ralph’s two-seater bicycle. Ralph had modified his bike trailer to accommodate the enormous pumpkin, while Friar Tuck had worked on the carving and decoration. It was a real masterpiece.
Last year, Friar Tuck and Ralph had attempted a similar stunt, creating a homemade Pirate Ship. Unfortunately, a giant gust of wind caught the main sail and sent them zipping quickly across town. The parade had only just started when this happened and they had missed out on all the best candy collecting.
This year’s Halloween float, would be a brilliant improvement. Friar Tuck had installed an emergency brake and it was now nearly finished and ready to roll. Many kids would work on elaborate creations and costumes to be unveiled at the parade. It was a big event!
Ralph was now looking for the bicycle pump to add air into the tires.
He needed to set the pressure to approximately 44 psi (pounds per square inch) to accommodate for the added weight.
“Friar Tuck, can you go get the pump for me? I think it’s in the basement.”
Friar Tuck hopped down from his stool and then headed towards the stairs. He knew exactly where the pump was. It was up on the shelf next to his little science experiment.
While Friar Tuck headed downstairs for the bike pump, Ralph walked over to turn on the radio. He turned the volume up just a little louder than normal; this way, they could still hear the music as they worked inside the pumpkin.
It was at the very moment that Friar Tuck was rummaging around downstairs that a loud and clear voice came across the radio. It was a special news bulletin, and a quite unexpected one to say the least!
“We Now Interrupt This Broadcast for a Special Community Announcement. It is with deep regret and surprise that we must inform you that this year’s annual Halloween Parade has been… CANCELLED!”
There was a brief pause to the voice and then the silence of static on the radio. (SFX)
At first, Ralph was puzzled; he had never heard of such a thing.
“This must be some sort of mistake,” he thought to himself.
But it wasn’t, the voice came back on the radio…
“Yes, it is true, my friends. The Powers That Be Have Cancelled The Halloween Parade!”
This time, Ralph jumped straight out of his seat.
“Friar Tuck… Friar Tuck… Help… Help… Emergency!!”
Friar Tuck, who was still in the basement, heard the yelling and quickly came dashing up the stairs.
“What’s happening, Ralph…What’s going on? I heard you yelling.”
Ralph was not calming down instead he continued to sound the alarm.
“Take a breath, Ralph. Calm down, what’s going on?”
Ralph was now panting and about to hyperventilate. Friar Tuck helped Ralph sit in a chair where he proceeded to relax.
“Now what’s the matter? I thought the house was on fire or something terrible had happened.”
“Friar Tuck,” Ralph gasped “The Halloween Parade Has Been Cancelled!!”
Friar Tuck held absolutely still.
“Yes, the Halloween parade has been cancelled!” Ralph exclaimed.
This time, the message sunk in, and it sunk in deep. Friar Tuck began to have an immediate reaction. Just like he had eaten some rotten food, he immediately stood up, spitting into the air and proclaiming.
“I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS,” he shouted!
Ralph only repeated the bad news one last time, and very slowly.
“N O H A L L O W E E N P A R A D E!”
“NONE…? NADA…? NIX…? NEIN…? NYET…?” said Friar Tuck.
Ralph simply nodded in a sorrowful manner.
It was absolutely unbelievable, an age old tradition, discarded into the waste bin of time.
Friar Tuck’s face turned from a look of despair to distraught and uncertainty.
“How can they do this to us?
My favorite event of the year, CANCELLED!”
Ralph himself was feeling deflated and helpless. Like a recycling truck had just run him over…twice!
This announcement had crushed all hope of showing off the giant pumpkin and for sure collecting as much candy as possible.
His weeks of hard work and effort ruined!
It all hurt too much to consider the real truth.
Some Party Poopers, who thought they knew better, had to go and spoil all the fun for everyone else.
They probably don’t even dress up for Halloween.
The air was thick with despair, and not only in Friar Tuck and Ralph’s house, but all around the town.
Children far and wide were discussing the unfortunate fate.
“I’ve been looking forward to this all year long,” said Ralph.
“I know,” said Friar Tuck, “and so have hundreds of other kids.”
“We need to do something. We need to save the parade,” said Friar Tuck.
Ralph was now lying on the floor motionless.
“HOW?” he replied…
“I’m not sure,” said Friar Tuck, “but I am going to figure this out.”
He was now scratching his head, which he typically did whenever he was solving a difficult problem.
This was a rather standard practice for him to exhibit.
Ralph had been lying still on his stomach in the middle of the floor, only now he was kicking his legs and banging his fists on the floor.
You might have done this as well if you had learned YOUR Halloween parade had been cancelled.
“Cut it out, Ralph. This is no time to for a temper tantrum.”
“I’ve just remembered something, Friar Tuck.”
Silence entered the room, because Friar Tuck and Ralph loved candy very… very… much!
Why else would they be preparing to take a giant pumpkin to the parade? This was their oversized trick-or-treating bucket. Without this year’s parade, they might as well go to bed early.
That night, Friar Tuck and Ralph did go to bed early. During the next three days a dark shadow hung above the small mountain village. The dogs were silent and the children stayed inside. Friendly greetings were sparse, reduced to short hellos and brief good-byes.
The town was in crisis!
Friar Tuck didn’t sleep much the next two days. Instead he spent his time continuing to work on the pumpkin. He was determined that somehow, someway, there would be a parade, even if he had to make his own.
Rumor circulated of proposed solutions, but the decision remained firm.
THE HALLOWEEN PARADE HAD BEEN OFFICIALLY CANCELLED!!
It was now late in the afternoon and Friar Tuck was adding the final touches to his giant carriage. He began rubbing his paws together nervously. He normally did this just as he was about to get the answer to a puzzle and he had been thinking and wondering how he could save the parade.
Ralph had just entered the garage; he had large bags under his eyes. His voice was muffled, and he began to mumble. He hadn’t been feeling very good as you might know.
“Friar Tuck, I was thinking… maybe we should try to do something ourselves to save this parade.”
Friar Tuck’s paws moved together even faster…
“Hmmm… We should call the president?” Ralph suddenly blurted out.
Friar Tuck laughed… only to keep on working.
“Well, how about the police?” Ralph went on to suggest.
“P OL IC E… hmmm… that’s it, Ralph!”
Friar Tuck’s paws immediately stopped, and then he sprung into action!
“Ralph, You’re a Genius! The Police… What A Great Idea!!” Friar Tuck ran straight upstairs towards the bedroom.
Now you can only imagine what Friar Tuck was thinking. He immediately headed to the walk-in closet, where he quickly began sorting through all of his costumes.
Friar Tuck and Ralph had quite a collection of them, after all why would they need a closet? Costumes weren’t just to be enjoyed on Halloween alone. Friar Tuck and Ralph would wear their costumes most any day of the week.
Ralph climbed up the stairs and walked into the bedroom. He was curious to see what Friar Tuck was planning. He stood at the entrance to the closet. Costumes were flying everywhere, magic capes, pirate scarves, eye patches, helmets, goggles, sunglasses, colorful outfits of all types.
Very quickly, Friar Tuck was assembling a pile of clothes on the floor.
“OK, Ralph… time to close your eyes.”
Ralph turned around to face the opposite direction, while Friar Tuck jumped into his costume.
“OK, turn around!”
Ralph turned around, and there he was – Friar Tuck had dressed himself up as a POLICE OFFICER.
“Friar Tuck, what are you doing?”
“IT’S OFFICER FRIAR TUCK TO YOU – CHIEF OF REGIONAL POLICE!
“I am here on official business to deal with this CANCELLED HALLOWEEN PARADE.”
Ralph didn’t know what to say, Friar Tuck sure sounded official.
“Here, quickly, I need your help.” Friar Tuck handed Ralph an extra pair of blue pants, a shirt, and dark sunglasses.
“Put these on, it’s time to get down to business!”
Ralph hesitated for a moment, and then quickly put on the costume.
“Now follow me, and whatever you do, don’t say a word. Let me handle everything… and here, take this,”
Friar Tuck tossed a pair of pretend handcuffs to Ralph. “Just in case.”
Even though the cuffs were pretend, they actually worked pretty well. Friar Tuck had discovered this last year when he had lost the keys.
They then marched down the stairs, towards the garage. Quickly, they climbed onto the two-seater bicycle, now known as the ‘PUMPIKN MOBILE’. They began pedaling and the giant pumpkin rolled forwards and out of the garage.
Suddenly Friar Tuck quickly pulled on the emergency brake.
He now jumped off the bike and ran inside.
“Wait one second, I forgot something!”
A moment later, he returned, holding a giant red and white megaphone.
“Ok – Time for Action.”
Friar Tuck and Ralph lived at the top of a hill, above town, so it was always very easy for them to get wherever they were going.
Getting home, however, happened to be an entirely different story.
Luckily, today’s journey would all be downhill.
I should mention today, was HALLOWEEN, the day of the CANCELLED PARADE!
The Pumpkin Mobile glided smoothly down the hill, but not one smiling jack-o’-lantern could be seen.
“Where to?” asked Ralph, who was now steering the bicycle.
“First stop… the mayor’s house,” said Friar Tuck very confidently.
Ralph seemed a bit surprised, but he knew exactly where to go, everyone in town knew where the mayor lived. As they pulled into the driveway he still had no idea of what Friar Tuck had planned.
Friar Tuck then repeated his warning.
“NOW LISTEN… DON’T SAY A WORD!”
Ralph was starting to have second thoughts…
“Um… Friar Tuck… I don’t think this is such a good idea…”
“REMEMBER – DON’T SAY A WORD!! We’re just going Treat or Tricking.”
It might have been the way that Friar Tuck had said it, that Ralph started putting this together.
After all, wasn’t it called ‘Trick or Treating’… and not ‘TREAT or TRICKING’?
Ralph parked the Pumpkin Mobile, while Friar Tuck hopped off and headed towards the house. Once there, he rang the door bell.
Ding dong… Ding dong.
He could hear some noise inside, a small dog barking; but no one came to the door.
“Ring it again” Ralph said, now joining Friar Tuck on the front step.
Ding dong… Ding dong.
Ding dong… Ding dong.
This time, they could hear footsteps coming to the door.
Friar Tuck peeked through the top window and could now see the mayor making his way down the hallway.
The mayor then opened the door.
“Treat or Trick,” Friar Tuck announced, but it was way too early in the day for anyone to be trick or treating. Besides that Friar Tuck and Ralph looked much too official to be real trick-or-treaters.
The mayor paused for a moment and then chuckled. He thought the very official looking police officers were just being silly.
“Well… hello, officers. How can I help you this afternoon?”
“Sorry to interrupt you, Mr. Mayor, but we seem to have a situation that is going to require your attention.”
“Oh, this sounds very important. Let me get my hat and I will be right with you, gentlemen.”
Friar Tuck and Ralph waited outside as the mayor went to get his grey cap.
Then he quickly followed them around the corner to where they had parked the giant Pumpkin.
“We had a little incident with the squad car, but we will explain that later. If you can please climb inside, an important matter awaits us.”
Now not knowing what was going on and eager to assist, the major climbed up the ladder and into the giant pumpkin. Friar Tuck then put the lowered the lid on the pumpkin, closing the mayor inside. The mayor took his seat and looked out of the nicely carved windows.
“Please hold on tight, Mr. Mayor, as we have a few more individuals to pick up.”
Friar Tuck looked over at Ralph smiling.
“One down, four to go!”
Ralph really hadn’t put it all together yet. What was Friar Tuck really up to?
“Next stop… 110 East Main Street.”
It wasn’t until Ralph pulled up at the Chamber of Commerce that he realized what Friar Tuck was up to. The chamber was a small but efficient building, located in the heart of downtown.
A meeting was currently in progress.
“Please wait here, Mr. Mayor. We will be back in a moment.”
Ralph followed Friar Tuck and they walked into the building.
“Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen. We are in need of your immediate assistance if you could please come with me. W e have a rather serious situation on our hands.”
Of course, all four members quickly followed Friar Tuck right out to the giant pumpkin. Ralph lowered the ladder and opened the lid so that they all could take their seats inside.
Everything seemed so official and well organized.
“Officer, could you please tell us what’s going on?” the mayor requested.
“In a moment,” Friar Tuck responded. “We just have one more stop to make.”
Ralph then turned the bike and began pedaling the giant pumpkin up towards the library. It was very heavy with the important delegates inside, but it glided smoothly down the street.
It was then that Friar Tuck climbed onto the top of pumpkin and pulled out the giant red and white megaphone. He flipped the switch and it turned on.
(SFX little cough to clear throat before you make an important announcement )
“ATTENTION… ATTENTION… WE HAVE A VERY IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT :
WILL ALL – GHOSTS – GOBLINS – PIRATES – WITCHES – MONSTERS – PRINCESSES – SUPER HEROS & FARIES
– PLEASE COME DOWNTOWN – IMMEDIATELY!!”
Friar Tuck’s voice boomed down the streets, echoing and bouncing off all the walls and buildings. The official tone and urgency had caused many to begin opening their doors and windows.
What was going on?
What was all the commotion?
After all today was HALLOWEEN and the cancelled paraded… well it had been scheduled to start – NOW!
Friar Tuck then blasted the air horn three times loudly! It sounded like a long lost ship at sea.
Pirates, Ghosts, Goblins, Witches, Super Heroes, and Warlocks of all types suddenly began heading downtown towards the library.
Nobody knew what was happening, but rumors quickly began to spread that IT had something to do with the Halloween parade. Of course, hope spreads quickly in small towns and it wasn’t long before dogs of all shapes and sizes began howling, children began cheering, mothers began dancing, and well…
I’m not sure whether the passengers inside the stagecoach had even figured out what was going on. They had been too busy trying to figure out the topic of this very important meeting.
It wasn’t until the mayor leaned out the window that he now noticed the hundreds of children who had now gathered around the giant pumpkin.
“So nice of you to join us today, Mr. Mayor…” said a goblin.
“So nice of you to join us, Chamber Members…” screeched a pirate.
From within the crowd a small child stepped forward.
“You have saved our parade,” she proclaimed!
A sudden silence fell across the guests in the pumpkin carriage.
The mayor scratched his head, now realizing what had happened.
He began to wave his hands joyously in the air.
The chamber members were quick to follow, and applause burst throughout the crowd.
THE HALLOWEEN PARADE HAD BEEN SAVED!!
No one ever did figure out who those two mysterious police officers had been. But if there was one thing for sure, this year’s trick-or-treat had surely been a TRICK!
Long Live Halloween Parades Around the World and Trick or Treat Forever!