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By Paulette Bourgeois, Brenda Clark
Kids Can PressCopyright © 1996 Contextx
All rights reserved.
Franklin could count by twos and tie his shoes. He knew the days of the week, the months of the year and the holidays in every season. Today was October 31. It was Halloween! Franklin could hardly wait for tonight's costume party. Everyone would be there.
Franklin and his friends had talked about the party for weeks. There would be games, prizes and even a parade. Best of all, there would be a haunted house.
"I think there'll be bats and spiders," said Franklin.
"And skeletons," added Beaver.
Rabbit shivered. "My sister says she saw a real ghost in there last year."
"That's silly, Rabbit," said Beaver. "There are no real ghosts."
All of Franklin's friends were excited because of the costume contest.
Franklin wasn't sure what he was going to wear. He'd tried on everything in his dress-up trunk, but nothing seemed quite right.
Beaver and Goose were keeping their costumes secret.
"Try to find us at the party," they giggled.
Fox was also mysterious about what he was going to be.
"Look for something gruesome," he said.
That gave Franklin an idea. He would be something creepy.
It took Franklin more than an hour to make his costume.
As soon as it was done, he sneaked up behind his father and tapped him on the shoulder.
"Trick or treat," said Franklin.
"Ahhhh!" gasped his father. "Who are you?"
In his deepest, spookiest voice, Franklin answered, "It's me. Franklinstein!"
On the way to town, Franklin tried to guess who was inside each costume.
"At least I don't have to worry about finding Bear," said Franklin. "He's always a ghost."
By the time Franklin and his parents arrived, the party had started.
Franklin spotted a ghost at the apple-bobbing and hurried towards him. "Hello, Bear," Franklin said.
"Whooo!" answered the ghost.
"That's good, Bear," said Franklin. "You sound really scary."
Franklin bobbed for an apple. Then he ran to the pumpkin toss. It was his favourite game because he always won a treat.
Franklin's bag was almost full by the time the judges announced the costume contest. While everyone lined up for the parade, Franklin tried to find more of his friends. He thought he recognized Beaver and Goose. But where was Fox?
They marched around the building twice.
Franklin made horrible monster sounds and shuffled with stiff, straight legs. He won a prize for being the best green monster.
There was only one more thing to do -- go into the haunted house.
"You first," said Beaver, pushing Franklin towards the door.
It creaked open. A skeleton rattled. Chains clanged. There were moans. Franklin stepped on something crunchy.
Suddenly, a big hairy hand reached out of the darkness.
Franklin's heart beat hard and fast. But before he could scream, a light was flicked on.
"Trick or treat!" shouted Mr. Mole.
Franklin looked around nervously. Then he laughed. The hairy hand was only Mr. Mole's mop.
"Here's a treat for braving the haunted house," said Mr. Mole. "A ghost came before you. He got so scared he flew away."
"But Bear can't fly," said Franklin.
"It wasn't Bear," explained Mr. Mole. "Bear is home sick with a nasty cold."
Franklin shuddered. "If Bear wasn't the ghost, then who was?"
He ran back to his friends, who were waiting in line for the haunted house.
Excerpted from Franklin's Halloween by Paulette Bourgeois, Brenda Clark. Copyright © 1996 Contextx. Excerpted by permission of Kids Can Press.
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