In past Halloween seasons, I have always created humanoid props for my yard. Graveyard mourners. Halloween witches. Random cloaked creatures. Depending upon the theme, I would populate my yard and front steps with one or more of these creatures.
But this year, I decided against it. I planned for a haunted garden theme and focused on trees and flowers and spiders and grasshoppers. I simply couldn't find time to fit in anything that walked on two legs. I hadn't even gotten around to many of the garden inhabitants I had intended to create. Like bats and butterflies. Creepy butterflies.
I ignored my family's protests. Brushed aside their dismay that this would be the first year without what they refer to as "dummies". There would be other years, I explained. Change is good. You'll get over it. I was somewhat more surprised, however, at the reactions of neighbours. They approached me as I set up trees and flowers and garden fencing festooned with withered pumpkin vines. Inquiring as to when the "people" would appear, and appearing genuinely disappointed when told that this year, it was all about the plants and the bugs.
I remained committed to my original plan.
But as I dug through my box of Halloween supplies, pushing aside styrofoam heads, I questioned my decision. And as I stood in the shed organizing the spray paint cans, I couldn't help noticing some prop parts from past years. Now lying neglected in the corner. Perhaps the garden could use a gardener. Or maybe someone to relax on a garden bench and enjoy the surroundings. It wasn't too late to put together a quick prop. Of course it wasn't. There was still one more day until Halloween. And what was I thinking? I couldn't possibly let Halloween arrive without frantically creating at least one last minute prop. It's a sickness.
So there she sat. She showed up just in time for Halloween night. She's not pretty. But she was popular. And she was the perfect companion for my poor weather-beaten spider.