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Twas the Night Before Halloween

On St. Olaf’s campus ’twas was All Hallows’ Eve; not a creature was stirring, not even editor Steve. All the costumes were hung in the dorm rooms with care, in hopes that 10 p.m. Friday soon would be there. The students were all sleeping restlessly up in their beds, while visions of bio tests satanically danced in their heads. My computer fully charged, and I with my coffee night-cap, had just settled in for a night of studying random crap.

When out on the quad there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bowl chair to see what was the matter. Away to the Adironacks I flew like a flash, tore off my Snuggie and ran into the door with a smash. The moon on my skin – that hadn’t seen sun – made me look like a ghastly ghoul on the run.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature pride with eight tiny lion cubs, oh dear! With a weird humanistic leader, so furry and anon, I knew in a moment it must be Ole the Lion. More rapid than cross country his coursers they came, and he whistled, and roared and called them by name! “Now PDA! Now, Tha! Now, McDowell and Palmero! On, Kneser! On, Stumo-Langer! On, on Roz and Clay! To the top of Old Main! To the top of the Mohn Hall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

In that moment I wondered if I were asleep; maybe I ate one too many Cage cookies – that wouldn’t be a big leap. So up to the residence hall the lion flew, with a bag full of grades and some dashed dreams too. And then, in a twinkling, I heard in the halls of resident, the screaming and cursing of each little lady and gent. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, down all the chimneys ol’ Ole came with a bound. He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with students’ tears and soot.

A bundle of Fs he had flung on his back, and he looked like the crusher of souls, just opening his pack. His eyes – how they twinkled! His dimples – how merry! His cheeks were like dead roses; his nose like a black cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, and the beard of his chin was as white as the snow. The stump of a first year’s head he held tight in his teeth, and its cries of “but I study!” encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face and a little round belly that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly! He was a a cursed human soul all dressed up, a right deadly, old, demon elf, and I wish I hadn’t laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself! A wink of his eye and a twist of his head soon gave me to know I had everything to dread. He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, and filled all the Moodle grade books with Fs, then turned with a jerk. And laying his finger aside of his nose, and giving a nod, down to hell he descended, not rose! He sprang to his paws, to his team gave a whistle, and away they all flew like the a post-coffee poop missile. But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight, “Happy Halloween to no one, and to no one a good night!”

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