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Halloween Mischief

"poetry lovers who also enjoy math puzzles are in for a special treat. This poem contains a mathematics problem which may require a little thinking."

Ernie, with mischief written on his face
And wagon in tow, crept around gates
Into a forbidden apple orchard,
Intent on filling his wagon with fruit.

He climbed trees, slithered down trunks,
Picked the biggest, shiniest apples.
The deeper into the orchard he went,
The more he heard strange forewarnings:

"Please leave, orchard masters are coming.
They count the apples, as boys do marbles."
The boy laughed as voices spoke as one:
"Please leave, never steal apples again."

Ernie, with wagon laden with apples,
Began his journey home. A witch appeared,
Demanding one-half the apples plus four.
The child in tears did as told and went on.

A twig snapped as a goblin stepped to
The side of Ernie, demanding one-half
And four of the remaining red apples.
The frightened child obeyed and hurried on.

As he was about to leave the orchard,
A troll approached and told Ernie to give
Him one-half of the last of the fruit
And four more. The boy again did as told.

Ernie left the orchard with two apples.
He ran and thought about all those apples,
But simply did not recall how many
He had before the witch appeared, do you?

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Submitted on May 01, 2011

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    "Halloween Mischief" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 14 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/72923/halloween-mischief>.

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