A Children's Story for Samhain

Found on Pagan Dad (http://www.pagandad.com/2009/10/childrens-story-for-samhain.html)

The little children ran up to the old man in the chair and yelled in unison and great excitement, "Grandfather, Grandfather! Can you tell us another story?"

With a smile and twinkle in his eye, the old man asked, "What story do you want to hear? I have told you the stories about the first seven Sabbats, why don't I tell you the last one? The one about Samhain."

With eager nods the children yelled out, "Yes. Please."

So the Grandfather settled himself comfortably into his chair and began to speak. "If you will think back and remember. The story for Mabon found the God dead and living away in Summerland. And found the Goddess returning pregnant, from a spirit quest, after she found the God and got his promise to return at Yule as her unborn child.

"But the Goddess aged from the elements, remember Winter is coming quick as we approach the end of October, was found dead in the wilderness. Or so the faeries that found her thought. They brought her to the Holly King, Lord of Winter.

"When he saw her body he turned in bitterness and fled to his drinking horn in his mighty hall. But the faeries prepared Her body and laid in rest. Then they gathered all they could from far and wide and held a wake in Her honor.

"And they were gathered and mourned Her and most of all the death of their hope for the future. For how could they carry on without a Goddess to watch over them? But then the crowd fell silent as the oldest and ugliest lady any had ever seen hobbled into the hall.

"They all, to the last person, shunned her for they were disgusted at her hideous looks. But the old lady hobbled up slowly and in great pain, to the very foot of the throne of the Holly King. And looked up at Him as he turned his head away.

"After a long moment the old lady spoke, 'Do you not recognize me, my Son? I am your mother that you had given up hope on. Near death I was but I have returned with a promise of new life and light. That will come from my womb at the end of hope. When light is at its shortest. And on that day you shall pay for your arrogance.'

"The Holly King was struck to his heart with fright at these words and he ordered her to be locked away in the tallest tower. So that he may have hope of avoiding this doom that was laid upon him by his ancient Mother.

"But as we know, since the Sun is reborn every Yule, this did little to help the Holly King avoid the punishment for his arrogance. We also should know that it is on Samhain night, since the Goddess came back to us from death, that the veil is thin and torn in some places and that we may see other friends and family that have passed on. This is why we carve a pumpkin so that those familiar spirits can find their way to our homes. And when they are there we lay out the Mute Supper for them to gather strength for their journey back to Summerland.

"What was that little one, why do we dress up? Well we dress up so that those ghosts that are not our family do not take us back with them. They can't find out who we are, if we are covered up.

"Now run along children, have your parents help you carve the Jack O' Lantern and make your costumes. And let this old man rest from all this storytelling."