As shadows grow long on withered corn husks,
And autumn descends on spice-scented musk,
I’ll tell you this story of the doomed and insane,
The last ride, and night, of Ichabod Grain.
Ichabod brewed his way through the world,
Mashing and malting, his wort always swirl’d,
In excess he drank, and in moderation he slept,
In bacchanalia and mirth, the man most adept.
The townsfolk all called him, for better or worse,
To brew them up beers for all the gold in their purse,
His concoctions were potent, passion uncorked,
As bottles went up, whole towns went to work,
Dancing and singing and cheering at pyres,
Channeling the spirits in Halloween fires.
But in his brewpot he hid his horrible lie,
The beer he was brewing, that made him on high,
Was not of his doing, not from his hand,
But from something more sinister, something unmanned.
He bargained with ghosts, and demons alike,
And with their essence his drinks he would spike,
To lift the drink up from the plain and the earthly,
Imbue them, infuse them with the otherworldly.
All went well for Ichabod, too,
His bargains seemed fair, so too did his brew,
Until that day he stumbled on a hoard,
A pile, a mountain of orangish gourd,
The faces on them smiled with starchy white teeth,
Masking the power they hid underneath.
He carried them home in a cart near collapse,
Stripped them, roasted them, brewed without lapse,
Made up his beer with the meat of the lantern,
Scribbling his recipe on seed covered lectern.
When finally he was done, yeast bubbling wildly,
Ichabod eyed his creation, in fear of the ungodly,
The orange within, all surging and spitting,
Ichabod staring, worrying, regretting.
That night as he slept, the beer kept on going,
The evil fermentation showing no sign of slowing,
And out crawled the monsters, all sticky and sweet,
Waiting for the morning so their master could greet,
Them and guide them, and send them to war,
But Ichabod kept sleeping, and the pumpkins got bored.
They first went to town where they ruined the water,
Replaced all the well with their sick spicy lauter,
They next went to farm and dug up the crops,
Replaced all the corn with their hellish green hops,
Before they were through they went to the Mayor,
Left him naked and drunk, hango’ers doomsayer.
When Ichabod awoke, he noticed them gone,
Ran to the town to see what they’d done,
He gasped and he fell, his knees caked with mud,
The pumpkins on the hill, all covered in blood.
They stood there quiet, in two rows of six,
Armed with nutmegs and clove clubs and cinnamon sticks,
Waiting for Ichabod to fight or to flee,
Carved grins all glowing with devilish glee.
A run, yes he did, afraid to exhale,
Afraid of Great’er, of Smashed, and Punkin’ the ale,
But most of all Pumpking, on his pale malted mare,
A tasty and powerful, regal nightmare.
So tonight when the gourds all flicker and wink,
When the kids hit the streets and the sun starts to sink,
Remember this story, this lesson in fear,
Before you start drinking any pumpkiny beer.