Them Wolves Are Howlin'--BOO!
The scariest thing about Halloween or any time of year, for that matter, are not goblins, ghosts, witches, lost souls, in-betweeners, black cats, or any other creature mythic or otherwise. Y'all know as well as I do that the scariest creatures on earth are people. And scary people are scary all year round. (Although, it is funny that election season is just right around the corner from Halloween, isn't it?)
In magic and in some mythologies, it's popular to align oneself with an animal "familiar." In the Harry Potter series these creature-alter-egos are summoned as a "Patronus", which wards off evil or acts as a counterspell. Each character wields a different Patronus; one young wizard is a rabbit, I think Ms. Granger is an otter, and Harry I believe is a unicorn or some other large hoofed animal.
Anyway it would be interesting to see what animals we might align ourselves with. Back several months there was an internet quiz rash among bloggers who wanted to find out what animal they were in a past life. Evidently, the highly scientific and foolproof method for determining this is simple: you enter your birth date and year, and voila, your secret self revealed.
I was a horse. "You can't be fenced in - you long to run free.You are good at overcoming obstacles and realizing your potential." Well, true enough, even for a gimmick.
Halloween brings to mind other animals, though, like wolves and howling things. Wolves are truly majestic beautiful animals -- at least to their own kind, and to the rest of us from a distance, on our Sierra Club calendars or favorite sweatshirts. It is sometimes easy to forget that by nature they are vicious killers along the food chain. That's their lot. They stop at nothing to destroy whatever they perceive to be in the way of "protecting" their "pack," and take whatever they need to survive. They have to be in charge of their domain. Lone wolves are often portrayed as unhappy campers; the term even refers to renegade personalities who can't seem to fit in anywhere despite their contributions (the rest of us might call some of these folks, "entrepreneurs".) Poor Professor Lupin comes to mind -- the despairing werewolf.
We are surrounded by wolves. You can hear them howling over gas prices as they load up their big honkin' SUVS, crooning as they buy up land to develop, circling the next small group of free thinkers, trading up, trading sideways, trading off. Greed, power, aggression, and narrow-mindedness (they might say, "singularity of purpose") are the hallmarks of these wolves.
They're everywhere, and their closing in.
I wish I could forget about them for a while by getting to the Bruce Molsky/Nickel Creek show tonight at the Renaissance in Mansfield, about an hour away. I'm guessing that he would play this tune since it's fitting for a spooky night. Maybe after I'm done tricking and treating any little goblins who come to my door, I'll open a Great Lakes Nosferatu ale and try this tune myself.
I especially like the high cry on the fiddle in the first half of the tune. I'm not likely going to be able to get that right anytime soon, but it will be fun to try.
So, enjoy your night, hope it brings more treats than tricks. Remember to beware the wolves...
One on the hill and two in the holler,
Their gonna get you, bet you a dollar
**UPDATE #1: 8 p.m.: Hot diggity dog, I do believe it's in A! Yeeehaw! I can do that!**
**UPDATE #2: 8:35 p.m.: DAMMIT! It IS in G. Bastards....time for that beer...
**UPDATE: #3: 9:26 p.m.: Ok, it's not that bad. Then I learned an A tune called "Buckin Dun". I'm going to get my jams on, finish my beer, and read HP VII. The ministry just fell. Trouble is coming. Probably, wolves.