Bolin had known for years that he might one day have to move from his home in China to the USA, for his job. So for the last 5 years him and his wife Zhe, had been taking classes to learn to speak English. They also hired a private tutor to teach their daughter Ling to speak English. So when they found out that they would be leaving for America at the end of the month, they made a rule to only speak English at home. They were all doing very well and were sure they would have no problem in America.
They arrived in the United States on October 30th. Bolin's company had supplied a furnished house for them in a nice quiet neighborhood. When the cab dropped them off at their new house, Ling was so excited. She had a big bedroom of her own and the back yard was bigger than anyone's yard she ever saw in China. The next day her mom took her to get registered for school. They said she would start on November 1st, and her teacher's name is Miss. Martin. When they got home that afternoon, there was a knock on the front door. It was the neighbors from across the street. "Hi my name is Sue and this is my daughter, Sandy. Welcome to the neighborhood." She said, as she handed them a plate full of cookies.
Zhe thanked them and introduced herself and her daughter Ling. It turned out that Sandy was 9 years old, the same age as Ling and she was in Miss. Martin's class also. The two girls hit it off right away. They talked and played while their mothers, Zhe and Sue talked in the kitchen. When it was time to go Sandy asked Ling if she wanted to trick or treat with her tonight. "What is trick or treat?" Ling asked.
They never heard of Halloween because they don't celebrate it in China. So Sandy told Ling that kids dress up in costumes and knock on doors and grownups give them candy. "I am going to be a beautiful butterfly this year." Sandy excitedly shouted. Sandy's mother said, "Ling is a little smaller than Sandy. I think Sandy's princess costume from last year would fit Ling perfectly. She ran home and got it. Ling tried it on and she was so happy. It fit her perfect and she felt so pretty dressed as a princess. Sue explained that there are 12 houses on each side of the street and that at the end of the street is a dead end. So she will allow them to go to all 12 houses on one side and then go to all of them on the other side and they will not even have to leave the street to get plenty of candy. "It will be totally safe. Sandy will come over to get Ling to start trick or treating at around 6:15." She handed Ling a bag decorated with pumpkins to put her candy in and they went on home.
Zhe went to the store and got some candy to hand out to the kids who come to her house. Then she helped her daughter get all ready for her big night. Right at 6:15, Sandy came to the door and the two girls went to the first house and knocked on the door. The nice lady put some lollypops in both of their bags and they went on to the next house. Ling was thinking this is really cool. I love living here. They went to the next 3 houses and got lots of different goodies in their bags. But when they knocked on the next door. A very scary witch answered and screamed, "I'm going to get you my pretty." Ling threw her bag of candy up in the air and screamed. She took off running through the grass. Coming across the lawn were 4 boys dressed as monsters. That really got Ling scared and she ran even faster. But she had gotten turned around and was running in the opposite direction of her house. She passed a few ghosts and ran all the faster. She came to the dead end at the end of the street. There was a big field and she spotted a huge bush, so she ran and hid behind the bush.
She sat crouched down behind the bush fearing for her life. She could hear her heart beating so loud. "What in the world is going on." She thought to herself. "I don't think I like America, after all." Just then a little boy named Bobby who was dressed like a cowboy, told the friends that he was trick or treating with, that he had to go to the bathroom. "Wait right here while I go behind that big bush." He jogged across the field to the bush. Before he even opened his big cowboy belt buckle, he saw Ling crouched down behind the bush. "You scared me. What are you doing back here." He asked her.
"A witch answered the door at one of the houses we went to and then I saw a lot of ghost's and monster's." She whispered. "Well that's because its Halloween, silly. People are dressed in costumes." Then Bobby remembered that his teacher had told him that they were getting a new student from China tomorrow. "Hey are you the new girl from China who is going to be in Miss. Martin's class." He asked. She nodded her head yes. He told her that his name is Bobby and he is going to be in her class. Then he explained that people are just dressed in witch and ghost costumes. They aren't real.
"My new friend Sandy gave me this princess costume and she is dressed as a butterfly. I didn't realize that some people were going to be dressed so scary." After she said this, Bobby's friends walked up to the bush to see who he was talking to. When Bobby told them that she was afraid of the ghosts, monsters and Mrs. Woods who was the one dressed as a witch, the boys all started laughing. Ling was so embarrassed that she ran home. Sandy saw her and yelled, There you are. I have been looking all over for you." But Ling was so embarrassed that she ran all the way home and went inside to her room. When her mother asked her what happened. She could hardly talk. Sandy came to the door but Ling asked her mother to tell her that she just wanted to be alone.
The next day when it was time for Ling to go to school, she didn't want to go. She was afraid that all the kids were going to know what happened last night and they would all laugh at her. Her mother tried to tell her everything will be fine but Ling begged her not to make her go. So Zhe decided to let her daughter stay home but she made her promise that she would go tomorrow. Sandy came to the door to see if Ling wanted to walk to school with her. Zhe explained to Sandy why Ling was going to stay home.
When Sandy got to school, she told her teacher about what happened and that Ling was afraid that kid's would laugh at her and that is why she isn't at school today. Miss. Martin had a talk with the kids. She also sent a note home with all of the kid's, asking the parents to talk with their children and also asking if anyone has extra candy they could send. That way, they could make up a bag to give to Ling, since she didn't get to trick or treat.
The next morning Ling was still afraid that kids would laugh at her but her mother told her that she had to go to school. Because she was crying, it took her a long time to get ready. So she was running a little late and couldn't walk with Sandy. Her mother walked her to school and she was only about 15 minutes late. It turned out to be a good thing that she was late because it gave the teacher time to gather up all the candy that the kids brought from home to give to Ling. Her mom walked Ling to her class door and gave her a hug and promised everything will be fine. Ling knocked on the door and then opened it. Bobby and Sandy got up from their desks and came to the door and showed Ling to her desk. Miss. Martin and the whole class welcomed her and made her feel really comfortable. On the recess all the kids wanted to ask her questions about China. It seemed everyone wanted to be her friend. Not a word was said about her being afraid on Halloween. Then at the end of the day, Miss. Martin gave her a big bag filled with candy to take home, since she didn't get to trick or treat. When she got home her mother was waiting on the front porch, anxious to hear about her day. "I had a great day mom. I cant wait to go to school tomorrow and I can't wait until next Halloween. I want to be a scary monster."