The brisk air blew at the plastic bowl sitting in front of the house. It was a quiet night so far, but company would soon be approaching.
Lying deep within the neighbourhood, it would take great effort for a newcomer to navigate their way to the house. As for the common neighbourhood kids, they would need to tackle every other house along the block before reaching this home and discovering the teeth-rotting sweets that lay in the Tupperware for them.
Sitting sturdily upon a wooden stool, the bowl was not gilded, but decorated sparingly with cartoon spiders. Orange in colour, like every other Halloween bowl, the plastic reflected the streetlights at an odd angle.
The trick-or-treaters would never consider the appearance of the decorative bowl anyway, for only the contents inside would manage to grasp their attention.
If you were to peer inside the bowl, you would find an assortment of candies: the home owners would not disappoint. You would not find just the typical fare of chalky pill-like Rockets or boring Nestle’s Favourites, but rather an assortment of Maynards, Starbursts and Skittles. Even the sour kind.
When candy enthusiasts came up the front steps, most of them wouldn’t even acknowledge the crisp piece of paper taped to the stool, with words spelled out in fluid strokes:
PLEASE TAKE ONE ONLY
Some kids, following the words of their conscience, will comply with the sign. Yet, others—the more daring—will take as many as they please, sometimes even the whole bowl.
Needless to say, these trick-or-treaters’ ways are not just, nor are they appreciated. A bowl set out is meant to be shared; it is the treasure that makes a trick-or-treater’s labour worthwhile. That is, the labour of walking for two hours straight in an uncomfortable costume.
Of course, the bowl does not speak. It acts only as a convenient tool for reclusive home owners to distribute candy.
The bowl will sometimes be abused: accidentally getting knocked over and not picked up, or even stolen. Trick-or-treaters should not let this happen.
For without the bowl, there is no candy. And without candy, there is no Halloween. This underappreciated dish will forever lie beneath candy, and never complain. Not once will it ask to be the centerpiece, but rather the container in which the sweets are to be held.
Treasure the usefulness of all bowls during Halloween, whether outside the home or inside, assigned the mission to hold the precious candy.
Another gust of wind blows by, yet the bowl stands fast. It knows its job, and it performs it flawlessly. Despite only being enlisted once a year for the duty of holding candy, perfection in this field is seemingly effortless for the bowl. When Halloween ends, it will be stored away, but the bowl will wait. Like it waits for the kids on Halloween night, it will wait for the next year to shine again.