Once 'pon a time dey was a li'l' black boy whut he name was Mose. An' whin he come erlong to be 'bout
knee-high to a mewel, he 'gin to git powerful 'fraid ob ghosts, 'ca'se dat am sure a mighty ghostly location
whut he lib' in, 'ca'se dey's a grabeyard in de hollow, an' a buryin'-ground on de hill, an' a cemuntary in
betwixt an' between, an' dey ain't nuffin' but trees nowhar excipt in de clearin' by de shanty an' down de
hollow whar de pumpkin-patch am.
An' whin de night come' erlong, dey ain't no sounds at all whut kin be heard in dat locality but de rain-doves,
whut mourn out, 'Oo-oo-o-o-o!' jes dat trembulous an' scary, an' de owls, whut mourn out,
'Whut-whoo-o-o-o!' more trembulous an' scary dan dat, an' de wind, whut mourn out, 'You-you-o-o-o!' mos'
scandalous' trembulous an' scary ob all. Dat a powerful onpleasant locality for a li'l' black boy whut he name
'Ca'se dat li'l' black boy he so specially black he can't be seen in de dark at all 'cept by de whites ob he eyes.
So whin he go' outen de house at night, he ain't dast shut he eyes, 'ca'se den ain't nobody can see him in de
least. He jest as invidsible as nuffin'. An' who know' but whut a great, big ghost bump right into him 'ca'se it
can't see him? An' dat shore w'u'd scare dat li'l' black boy powerful' bad, 'ca'se yever'body knows whut a cold,
damp pussonality a ghost is.
So whin dat li'l' black Mose go' outen de shanty at night, he keep' he eyes wide open, you may be shore. By
day he eyes 'bout de size ob butter-pats, an' come sundown he eyes 'bout de size ob saucers; but whin he go'
outen de shanty at night, he eyes am de size ob de white chiny plate whut set on de mantel; an' it powerful'
hard to keep eyes whut am de size ob dat from a-winkin' an' a-blinkin'.
So whin Hallowe'en come erlong, dat lil' black Mose he jes mek' up he mind he ain't gwine outen he shack at
all. He cogitate' he gwine stay right snug in de shack wid he pa an' he ma, 'ca'se de rain-doves tek notice dat
de ghosts are philanderin' roun' de country, 'ca'se dey mourn out, 'Oo-oo-o-o-o!' an' de owls dey mourn out,
'Whut-whoo-o-o-o!' and de wind mourn out, 'You-you-o-o-o!' De eyes ob dat li'l' black Mose dey as big as
de white chiny plate whut set on de mantel by side de clock, an' de sun jes a-settin'.
So dat all right. Li'l' black Mose he scrooge' back in de corner by de fireplace, an' he 'low' he gwine stay dere
till he gwine to bed. But byme-by Sally Ann, whut live' up de road, draps in, an' Mistah Sally Ann, whut is her
husban', he draps in, an' Zack Badget an' de school-teacher whut board' at Unc' Silas Diggs's house drap in, an'
a powerful lot ob folks drap in. An' li'l' black Mose he seen dat gwine be one s'prise-party, an' he right down
cheerful 'bout dat.
So all dem folks shake dere hands an' 'low 'Howdy,' an' some ob dem say: 'Why, dere 's li'l Mose! Howdy,
li'l' Mose?' An' he so please' he jes grin' an' grin', 'ca'se he aint reckon whut gwine happen. So byme-by Sally
Ann, whut live up de road, she say', 'Ain't no sort o' Hallowe'en lest we got a jack-o'-lantern.' An' de
school-teacher, whut board at Unc' Silas Diggs's house, she 'low', 'Hallowe'en jes no Hallowe'en at all 'thout
we got a jack-o'-lantern.' An' li'l' black Mose he stop' a-grinnin', an' he scrooge' so far back in de corner he
'mos' scrooge frough de wall. But dat ain't no use, 'ca'se he ma say', 'Mose, go on down to de pumpkin-patch
an' fotch a pumpkin.'
'I ain't want to go,' say' li'l' black Mose.
'Go on erlong wid yo',' say' he ma, right commandin'.
'I ain't want to go,' say' Mose ag'in.
'Why ain't yo' want to go?' he ma ask'.
''Case I 's afraid ob de ghosts,' say' li'l' black Mose, an' dat de particular truth an' no mistake.
'Dey ain't no ghosts,' say' de school-teacher, whut board at Unc' Silas Diggs's house, right peart.
''Co'se dey ain't no ghosts,' say' Zack Badget, whut dat 'fear'd ob ghosts he ain't dar' come to li'l' black Mose's
house ef de school-teacher ain't ercompany him.
'Go 'long wid your ghosts!' say' li'l' black Mose's ma.
'What' yo' pick up dat nomsense?' say' he pa. 'Dey ain't no ghosts.'
An' dat whut all dat s'prise-party 'low: dey ain't no ghosts. An' dey 'low dey mus' hab a jack-o'-lantern or de
fun all sp'iled. So dat li'l' black boy whut he name is Mose he done got to fotch a pumpkin from de
pumpkin-patch down de hollow. So he step' outen de shanty an' he stan' on de door-step twell he get' he eyes
pried open as big as de bottom ob he ma's wash-tub, mostly, an' he say', 'Dey ain't no ghosts.' An' he put' one
foot on de ground, an' dat was de fust step.
An' de rain-dove say', 'Oo-oo-o-o-o!'
An' li'l' black Mose he tuck anudder step.
An' de owl mourn' out, 'Whut-whoo-o-o-o!'
An' li'l' black Mose he tuck anudder step.
An' de wind sob' out, 'You-you-o-o-o!'
An' li'l' black Mose he tuck one look ober he shoulder, an' he shut he eyes so tight dey hurt round de aidges,
an' he pick' up he foots an' run. Yas, sah, he run' right peart fast. An' he say': 'Dey ain't no ghosts. Dey ain't no
ghosts.' An' he run' erlong de paff whut lead' by de buryin'-ground on de hill, 'ca'se dey ain't no fince eround
dat buryin'-ground at all.