|Snicker. The blog is named after him.|
by Valerie L. Egar
Zilla and Truffles, her parrot, were undecided about what they should be for Halloween.
"How about a pirate?" Mom said.
Zilla frowned. "I AM a pirate!" Zilla had spent some of her summer captaining a pirate ship, but stopped when Truffles, who grew up in a restaurant, kept saying things like, "The salmon is flavored with lemon and capers" instead of "Hoist the sails, sea dogs!"
Zilla shook her head. Sometimes Mom did not understand. "I don't want anyone to recognize me. Everyone knows what a great cook I am." After Zilla's brief attempt at pirating, she had opened a cafe and sold millions of strawberry and chocolate cupcakes, while Truffles, who had finally learned to talk like a pirate, entertained customers.
Zilla looked in her closet. When she saw the blue velvet dress Grandma bought her for her birthday, she had an idea. With ruffles at the neck and lace on the sleeves, it was exactly the kind of clothing Zilla never wore. Zilla liked pants she could wear climbing trees. She liked blouses that were loose and comfortable. She remembered what Mom said when she opened the package: "I'm not sure I'd recognize you in a dress like that." Zilla decided to wear the fancy dress as her Halloween costume. No one had ever seen her dressed like that, and they would have no idea who she was.
What about Truffles? With his colorful feathers, Zilla decided he could be a butterfly and she made little antennae for him to wear on his head.
After supper on Halloween, Zilla pulled the fancy dress over her head. She brushed her hair and pushed it back with a velvet headband Grandma had also given her. She put on black patent leather shoes, but because she'd never worn them, they pinched. She knew she could never walk through the neighborhood with tight shoes, so she she put on her scuffed sneakers.
When she looked in the mirror, she hardly recognized herself. Mom took a picture that didn't include her sneakers or the trick or treat bag and texted it to Grandma. Truffles was excited and fluttered back and forth like a butterfly with the tiny antennae bopping on his head.
With Dad staying well behind, Zilla and Truffles stopped at Mrs. Bloom's.
"Why Zilla, don't you look pretty!" said Mrs. Bloom. "But why aren't you wearing a costume?"
Zilla frowned. "This is a costume!"
"Oh," said Mr. Bloom. "I suppose you're a fairy princess?"
Zilla didn't want to try and explain. "Uh huh," she said, "and Truffles is a butterfly." Truffles spread his wings and waved his antennae.
Mts. Bloom gave Zilla a chocolate bar and Truffles a handful of peanuts.
At every house, each person who opened the door recognized Zilla, told her how pretty she looked, and asked why she wasn't dressed up for Halloween. Zilla felt discouraged and even Truffles felt downcast.
Then, Zilla had an idea. When Mr. Cassidy opened the door, Zilla said, "Ahoy, matey! 'Ave you any loot?"
Truffles said,"'Ello, sea dog."
"Oh my goodness," said Mr. Cassidy. "A pirate and a parrot disguised as a pretty little girl and a butterfly!" He handed Zilla three pieces of candy and went to the kitchen for a crisp apple for Truffles.
After that, word spread through the neighborhood that a wild pirate and her parrot were trick or treating in a clever disguise.
"That's right," said Zilla. "Don't be fooled when someone who looks like a little girl and a butterfly come knocking on your door!"
Published in The Sunday Journal Tribune, October 11, 2015. Copyright 2015 by Valerie L. Egar. May not be published or reproduced without permission of the author.