Halloween is my favorite holiday. It has been the perfect night of spooks and sweets for the past 14 years. Traditionally, my best friend, Natalie, and I would dress up, trick-or-treat, trade candies, watch a movie, and have a sleepover. We had perfected the T-or-T route around my neighborhood over the years. We knew which houses never gave out candy, don’t bother knocking, which houses gave out regular candies, knock at most if we’re making good time, and which houses gave out the king-sized candy bars or goody bags, you MUST stop at these.
This is my first October 31st without Natalie, without trick-or-treating, and without the perfect traditions. But that doesn’t make this Halloween any less perfect. It is still my favorite holiday. And this year, I still got spooked.
Skeletons. Roaches. Rats. Vampires. Zombies. Spiders. Ghosts. Owls.
I used to be fearless, I was never scared of those things. Scary movies didn’t spook me, either. It took a lot to make me jump.
Now I am always scared. Going to work at R3 Animal is a horror movie ever day. I love it, but I am always, always, scared. Today, on Halloween, I had my fill of scary things.
I picked up skeletons — rat skeletons — off the floors of countless cages as owls and hawks watched me hungrily from above. Some were bare bones, others still had the head and tail and some fur still clingy on. It was scary.
I fought off an army of roaches. To make matters worse, in Brazil, they fly. They crawl out of every possible nook and cranny and they are scary. And gross.
The monkeys are scary, too. Don’t let their cuteness fool you. One second they’re calmly watching you clean their cage, the next their shaking the cage door, howling, baring their sharp, blood red teeth. It’s because of the beets, I think. You never know. They’re like vampires. They’re scary.
Gambás, or possoms, are little zombie creatures that smell like death and eat each other alive. If that doesn’t make them scary enough, they hiss like crazy.
Some of the parrots flew right over my head, like bats. Other tried to snap off my fingers. At any moment, I felt like I could die. I wondered that if I turned into a ghost, I would still be too scared to even haunt the animals in this place.
At least we had an awesome Halloween party.
Love and Peace,