Halloween is fast upon us. For most of us, it’s our annual nod to the weird and spooky, to the inner desires of our fantasy selves. And to sweet-induced stomach aches we regret in the next day.
Much as Dragons relish the weird and frightening – some might even say it is their default approach to the world – they are decidedly old school when it comes to Halloween. Not that they don’t get a vicarious kick out of our human penchant for dressing up and banding through the streets in search of sugar highs. But they prefer to embrace the day less as a time for digestive overindulgence and more as a solemn celebration of the Otherworld, beyond and between. In the spirit of the Old Faiths, of the Wiccans, Druids, et al., they prefer to keep the 31st – Samhain – sacred.
The same cannot be said for Samhain Eve, aka Mischief Night. Or Devil’s Night or Cabbage Night – Western Dragons are particularly fond of cabbage – as local customs dictate. In centuries past it was a time for late night raids and scarecrows ablaze with Dragonfire.
When humans got in on the fun were eggs dripping off windows, frost-spoiled veggies smashed hither and yon, and toilet paper in the trees. I remember when I was a kid, our mailbox was an habitual target for exploding paint cans; at least I knew the mailbox makers were kept in business. In all, it is a night of messy but (usually) harmless hijinks. The tricks before the treats.
What Dragon wouldn’t want to join in? For, awe-inspiring though they may be, Dragons are not exactly sober beings. They have wild, fittingly over-sized senses of mischief. And, after a month of chipping in and generally being on their best behaviour, who among them wouldn’t want to blow off a little good-natured steam?Still, the mood around the Nest is a little different this year, bouncing between weary tail biting to anarchic rebellion. Given how empathetic Dragons are, this is likely a reflection of the general angst around them. Right now, I am hard pressed to keep the Dragons from flying south, buzzing the White House, and leaving noisome mountains of draconic fertilizer in the Rose Garden. (I won’t tell you what they have planned for a certain West Palm Beach residence.)
But I remind them that all the positive PR we’ve been doing throughout the year can be negated in a puff of ill-placed Dragonfire.
Not to mention, drawing unwanted governmental attention can be extremely problematic in these dark times. Low profiles do have their benefits.
So, as you and your Dragons head out tonight for a little pre-Samhain hell-raising, be wise and careful. And keep a thought for the less fortunate Dragons of the world. For the Dragons who don’t have the luxury of frolic, who are being pushed to the fringes and struggling just to survive.
Above all, keep the mayhem to a minimum. Remember, one good draconic fright is better than a thousand TP-ed trees.