I haven’t been to many costume parties, especially in recent years, but there’s one that really sticks in my mind. Held in a basement, it went as most do, with the exception of someone’s child crying until my husband took off the clown mask he was wearing. We then had refreshments, played games, and admired or made fun of each other’s costumes.
Toward the end of the evening, however, the door opened and in came someone dressed in a chipmunk costume from head to toe. He wandered into and around the room, even- tually taking a seat next to a back wall. Conversations immediately became, “Who is that?” and “I don’t know–why don’t you ask him?”
The stranger said nothing, but simply sat in a folding chair with his hands on his knees, refusing to answer any questions. Much to the chagrin of parents, the kids became enamored with Mr. Chipmunk, hanging around him as if he were a great pal. Some of the mothers were upset or even angry at the intruder, who dared to not make his identity known for their peace of mind.
“It’s Huey,” some said, just to have his wife answer, “No, Huey’s in the mountains.”
Then, just as unexpectedly as he appeared, Mr. Chipmunk rose from his chair and hurried out the door, followed by many of the older children. Was he a pied piper, a kidnapper, or even a murderer? Whatever he was, the kids weren’t afraid, and they filed out the door into the cold darkness. Mr. Chipmunk meandered toward a graveyard with his entourage close behind, yipping and yowling with glee. Last seen, he was ambling and weaving around the ancient tombstones, finally disappearing into the woods.