A Jelly Bean for Halloween

The bag of assorted candies was ready, and I’d been looking forward to visits from pint-sized goblins. But Halloween morning, my arthritis flared up, and by evening, I could barely move. I couldn’t possibly answer each knock on the door to distribute the goodies, so I decided to fasten the candy bag to the door and watch the parade of trick-or-treaters from my darkened living room.

The first to arrive was a ballet dancer with three little ghosts. Each picked out a sweet in turn. When the last tiny hand emerged full-fisted, I heard the ballerina scold: “You’re not supposed to take more than one!” I was pleased big sister would play conscience for the little one.

Princesses, astronauts, skeletons and aliens followed. More children showed up than I had expected. The candy was running low, and I was about to turn off the porch light when I noticed four more visitors. The three oldest reached into the bag and pulled out Hershey bars. I held my breath, hoping there would be one left for the tiny witch. But when she pulled out her hand, all it held was a single orange jelly bean.

Already the others were calling, “C’mon, Emily, let’s go. There’s no one home to give you more.” But Emily lingered an extra moment. She dropped the candy in her bag and then paused, facing the doors. Deliberately, she said, “Thank you, house. I like the jelly bean.”

Then I watched her scamper away to join her fellow trick-or-treaters. One dear little witch had cast her spell on me.

Evelyn M. Gibb

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