Halloween in the Mile End

On Saturday night at about 6:00 pm, I took out a lamb and ninja warrior for some trick-or-treating in our hood. It was a cold dark moonlit October 31st with a wind strong enough to whistle and stir the leaves. Some of our festive neighbours on Drolet Street had created a haunted walk for passing ghouls with a spooky soundtrack in the background. The lamb clung to my thigh, as did my otherwise brave ninja, but the lady with the cape and Freddy Kruger mask was more than my lamb could bear. We had to back out into the street at the last minute--to hell with the candies, she was scary. My ninja was also frightened, but she was still reeling from the embarrassment of coming face to face with her first crush from daycare. Just minutes earlier, we had run into the rocker with his mother. Now aged 10 and 7, our kids stood beside us looking sideways so that their eyes wouldn't meet.

It couldn't have been a better night for Halloween, and I couldn't help myself from adding a little more scare in the air, asking my little companions if they'd just heard that scary noise or turning around quickly to see who was behind us. My tactics were effective, but I started to annoy my ninja. Little did I know that she would soon have the last laugh.

The lamb called it quits early, and the ninja and I carried on to St. Dominique. There were still lots of treats and plenty of monsters to come. I was looking forward to my last trip up the stairs to a triplex when I heard a little witch say to a ghost that the snake gave her the heebie jeebies. The ninja arrived first at the top of the stairs and I heard her say, "Oh, can I pet him?" I was looking at our next triplex on the street, as I took my place beside her at the door. I looked down to see what I expected to be a cat, but instead saw a five-foot long boa constrictor hanging from a man's arm. I let out a scream, which scared the snake, causing it to coil around its handler. I managed to take a picture, albeit a shaky one, and was immensely relieved to get away from there, much to my ninja's amusement.

As I climbed the stairs of the last triplex, I was still feeling shaky from my fright. I told the ape and witch who answered the door about my experience and showed my picture. I couldn't help but notice the witch's facial expression turn from surprise to dread. I would feel the same way if the boa were my neighbour.

It made me think of a funny anecdote told recently by Alice Cooper on the French-language variety show Tout le Monde En Parle. The rocker was famous not only for his smudged mascara, but also for bringing his pet boa on stage. However, one evening his pet got away in a Las Vegas hotel. Alice Cooper alleges that the boa somehow got into the hotel's plumbing system and resurfaced in country and western singer Charlie Pride's suite via the toilet, apparently while it was...ahmm, in use. Now imagine how terrifying that experience was. It also makes me feel slightly uneasy to consider how we may all be interconnected through plumbing and sewage systems....


jWL | November 3, 2009 at 8:41 AM



Heather | December 28, 2009 at 8:48 PM

It was a blast!

Anonymous | November 3, 2010 at 2:32 AM

We Have black headed pythons here in Australia.
see for more detail description & where found & what ones you can keep.

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