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Professor Higgelsby's Halloween
What is in the basket?
The doorbell rings...
Professor Henry Higgelsby opened his door. There was a basket on his doorstep.
Under the basket was a scrawled note: “Please take good care of my baby.”
Henry Higgelsby scratched his head; the basket looked too small for a baby, but he carried it in carefully. He unwrapped the blankets.
There nestled on a small pillow was a very large EGG!
“Golly, how in the world will I care for an egg?”
Professor Higgelsby set the basket by the warm fireplace and placed a second blanket on top of the first. He then went back to his workshop to carve his Halloween pumpkin.
Every year, Henry carved a pumpkin for the Waddlington’s Pumpkin Jubilee to mark the end of the harvest season. The scariest pumpkin would win a blue ribbon. Professor Higgelsby was known for his pumpkin carving skills. He often won.
Henry set his finished creation on his doorstep and thought it looked quite scary. He took one more look and closed the door.
Not a good idea...
Leaving the carved pumpkin out there was not the best idea he had ever had. It would soon be a full moon. But a little more on that later...
Henry kept checking the egg and tapping on it.
"I wonder what sort of bird will hatch from this egg? I think it might be an EMU. I can just see the townspeople gawking and saying, Now that professor Higgelsby has gone completely off the deep end! A pet Emu, Hmmph!”
A week after he had brought the egg in, Henry saw the egg jiggle, then it wiggled, followed by a loud CRACK. Out popped a long nose with two big nostrils on it. “My goodness you are a funny looking bird!”
Henry put on his spectacles for a better look. “Why, you are not a bird...I think you are....an ALLIGATOR! Golly, I am not sure I want an alligator as a pet!”
A big scraggly claw grabbed the edge of the shell. Henry jumped and had a bit of a fright. Out came a long-necked critter dripping with egg. Henry rushed in with a towel to help dry the little guy.
What is it?
“What in the world are you?” he stared at this new baby. The baby coughed and out came a puff of smoke.
Henry Higgelsby rubbed his eyes because he figured he was seeing things. The little creature squawked a tinny little screech and flapped his...
“OH MY, “ was all Henry managed to say.
The little critter saw Henry and ran to him and hugged him. Henry was certain he heard it say “Mommy.”
Well... that brought a tear to his eye. He had a family!
Meanwhile, out on the porch a shadow passed over the moon and Henry's pumpkin’s grin got wider. The pumpkin grew legs and dashed down the street. It hid in some bushes.
It was a very strange week in Waddlington. First a strange creature is born and now a running pumpkin?
A vegetarian dragon?
Back in the house, Henry was trying to figure out what to feed the new baby. He was very puzzled but he was sure he had just hatched a baby DRAGON!
What do you feed a dragon?
As Henry peered into the fridge, he glanced over to see the baby eating his Hibiscus plant.
“Ah, you are a vegetarian dragon. I think I will call you Hibby.” Hibby ran around playing and shooting flames back at the fireplace.
“Oh dear, we can’t have that, Hibby. I shall have to give you a muzzle for the night.”
Down the street, children were walking home from a harvest party when a big scary pumpkin chased them down the street.
Back in the Higgelsby household, Henry thought Hibby would be the ideal companion for his Halloween outfit. Henry had decided to dress up as a wizard to hand out treats. This was going to be a very special Halloween!
He opened the door to sit on his porch with a steaming mug of peppermint tea, when a group of children went flying by screaming. “Watch out for the P-P-P.......UMPKIN!” as they dashed into their houses and slammed the doors shut.
Henry though he saw a flash of orange , then he noticed his pumpkin had disappeared. Very strange indeed.
Detective Higgelsby sets out...
Next morning, his pumpkin was back with a row of equally menacing pumpkin friends. They sat there all day and then they were gone again and children went by screaming and running into their homes slamming the doors shut. Henry became very concerned. Something was afoot...
Henry Higgelsby put on his detective hat and brought out his big magnifying glass and a big flashlight. When the sun set, he went off searching for what was causing all the children to flee in fright.
It didn’t take long because the very first bush Henry looked under he found five pumpkins with scary grins who took off chasing him. Henry ran home yelling “Watch out for the P-P-P...UMKINS!” and dashed into the house out of breath. Hibby looked out the window and made a big noise. HSSSST!
To Henry's great surprise, Hibby popped the window open and was gone in an instant before Henry had a chance to stop him.
“Oh no, I have not taken very good care of Hibby. What shall I do?”
Henry cautiously opened the door ready to whack a pumpkin if it attacked but there wasn’t a pumpkin in sight.
Down the street, Hibby let out a roar that shook the little town and flashed a flame sixteen feet long and roasted the group of fleeing pumpkins in a flash. When Henry found him,Hibby was just finishing off the last bits of the last pumpkin shell.
Hibby gave a loud BURP.
All is well!
The townspeople did think Professor Higgelsby was a bit odd... especially because he had a pet dragon but the little stone house down the street was very popular on Halloween. There was nothing quite like a wizard with a little dragon on his shoulder to gather a crowd.
Hibby loved eating roasted pumpkins and Waddlington never,ever had another scary pumpkin incident.
Children from all over loved visiting with Professor Higglesby and Hibby...because, who doesn’t love a pet dragon?
So what does Hibby look like?
Thank you, Nancy for getting the ball rolling on this story! Six golden pumpkins to you for the fun I had writing it!...Marg