The first problem was the plague. Try as we might we couldn't convince the stomach virus decimating our ranks that plagues were part of a completely different Jewish Holiday, where plagues get served wine and they have special songs sung about them.
On the day of the Sixth Candle, the plague caught the Boy Cousin and Grandpa. This was bad. Sick Grandpas are Surly.
On the day of the Seventh Candle, the plague caught the Brother-in-Law and was laying in wait in the Girl Child. Seventh Candle was originally going to be celebrated with my sister at her house where she would have friends over and a Seventh Candle Shindig, but the descent of the plauge proved that it was not meant to be. A quiet family dinner at Grandma's, and we planned to go back through the woods and over the river before 8:30.
We lit the candles after dark but before dinner so we were ready to travel. The Taunting for the Seventh Candle called for the first night of identical poppets.
The boy, who seemed to be on the receiving end of a number of stunt poppets at this point opened his Takeout Box expecting. . . . .well nothing really. He didn't have any preconceptions having received a stunt poppet the night before. When he opened his box he met Pumpkin Spice, a small gentleman whom he had expressed admiration for back in November. He was pleasantly surprised.
Those of you who know us however, know that all things Pumpkin need to reference the Girl Child, she who loves Pumpkin Pie more than life itself. Alright, maybe not life itself, but she's very territorial about Pumpkin Pies. Especially Grandma's Pumpkin Pies. Grandma makes 2 pies just for her so that everyone else has a shot at getting some during Holidays Where Pumpkin Pie Is Required. So while one Pumpkin went to the boy who wears a lot of orange so he doesn't disappear, it would have been seriously improper not to accquire one for the Pumpkin loving girl. And they were the last five Pumpkin Spice Poppets in existence, so it wasn't like there was going to be the option of acquiring one for a future Taunting.
So a pair were battled for and obtained. They set off together for the relayed trip to Our House to then be smuggled for the Taunting Travel edition - which is as it should be since the Pumpkin Pies come from Grandma's house.
But there was a glitch. The Pumpkin Spices had broken the First Rule of Adventuring:
Don't Split Up The Party.
One Pumpkin Spice had arrived with Dangles and Gingerbread but the other had wandered off leaving the House Reds to come up with a Seventh Night solution for the Girl.
The Really Polite Red was along with the Most Adventurous Red in the House while he was getting his Skeleton Costume made. There was orange construction paper for her too, but she found some of the orange wrapping paper and wound herself in it.
Costume solved! She was now "A Red Poppet Pretending to be a Pumpkin Spice Poppet". She jumped into the Takeout container and popped out on the Seventh Candle. The Girl thought she was adorable.
There were no pictures taken with Grandma's Menorah that night as we rushed to make sure we would be home before midnight, but first we had to go on a Poppet Rescue Mission. Poppet placeholders were also given by their aunt and the Christmas Poppets had arrived that day. So off to Auntie's house. The Christmas Poppets will make it to the Dreamtime at a later date.
Then we rode off into the incredible fog. Let me just say if you've ever read that Niven story where fog is a sign that realities are overlapping each other and you might not know where you'll end up, this was a good trip for taking bets on which parallel universe you'd land in.
Halfway, through the woods, but not yet over the river, the plague struck the Girl, plus there was all the fog. Really people, Passover is in April.
She held it together and there was superfast unloading, and we discovered the scout I had left behind had brought in packages and lo and behold, the Little Black Poppet had led the way and Skeleton and Pumpkin Spice were there waiting with him.
Here are the pictures of the Wayward Poppets with their Stunt Doubles.
Everyone, People, Poppets and Stunt Poppets would be together for the last candle. One More night and Channuka and the Taunting would be complete. If we didn't all come down with the plague. . . . .