Doodle-Ventures: witching hour

I used to love Halloween. One of life’s great joys is putting on some ridiculous get-up and running through the suburbs with a band of hooligan friends to collect candy from strangers.

You could say I became too big for Halloween, but I’d say the more accurate truth is Halloween became too small for me. Somewhere in the high school years, people decided it doesn’t matter how great our costumes are; we were too old for candy.

I suppose I can sympathize. People are expecting chubby babies dressed as pumpkins. My mustachioed pirate didn’t stand a chance … even with my hand-sewn eye patch. You can’t compete with cute.

In any case, I don’t care much for horror. My wild imagination is enough of a handful, thank you very much. I don’t need someone else’s nightmares marinating with my own into some ghoulish soup of terror.

So instead of sharing recent Halloween adventures — because there are none — I’ll share a Halloween-themed doodle and a beloved Halloween memory.

19 & 20/500 Vampire & Witch’s Cauldron

There was a book I loved growing up, not just during Halloween season but all year round — Little Witch’s Big Night by Deborah Hautzig. I still think of Marc Brown’s illustrations whenever I draw witches.

In this story, Little Witch gets grounded on Halloween for keeping her room clean and doesn’t get to scare children with Mother Witch, Grouchy Witch and Nasty Witch (seriously, those are their names). Instead, she stays home and befriends the trick-or-treaters. She gives them broomstick rides. She even sweeps the porch and reads to her pet bat. In short, she’s the perfect kid but a not-so-great witch.

I love Little Witch not only because she’s adorable but because she teaches us that we can always choose to be kind, even when we’re surrounded by the Grouchy Witches and Nasty Witches of the world.

(Plus, Little Witch has a cat named Bow Wow. This is literary gold, people!)

As for the vampire sharing the limelight in today’s doodle, consider it a friendly reminder that it’s always a good idea to donate blood … unless your iron levels are low. In that case, eat a steak first.

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