On Halloween, Flannery took the girls trick-or-treating while I was at work. They canvased the neighborhood with the other local kids. They made a pretty good haul and when they were done they plopped down in the neighbor's back yard in a huge pile of leaves and compared candy.
Lucy, age five and pictured above in her costume as a Star Wars Jedi decided she wanted to go to one more house, so Flannery led her to the home of an elderly Italian couple who live the next street over. Now these folks are from the old country and their English isn't very good.
Lucy rings the bell and when the old man answers, holds out her bucket and cries out, "Trick or treat!" with all of the enthusiasm that a five year old can muster. "Good costume! Great costume!" he says with his thick accent as he puts a large handful of candy in her bucket. The old woman, hearing the sound of visitors, bustles to see who it is and joins her husband at the doorway.
She looks down at little Lucy in costume and her breath catches in her throat and her hand flies to her open mouth. "Jesu," she mutters, "Jesu Christi!" Without another word, she fills Lucy's bucket with all it will hold and crosses herself.
Flannery thanks them for their generosity, takes Lucy by the hand and they turn to go. "More children should dress like this!" the old woman calls after them. She kisses her rosary and takes the old man's hand as she closes the door.
Flannery didn't have the heart to tell them that Lucy was dressed as a character from a Sci-Fi movie that they had never heard of and not as Jesus Christ.
I choked up almost as much as our Italian neighbor lady did when Flannery told me the story, but I am a sentimental son of a bitch.