A long, long time ago, hoomins and doggies weren't friends. (I know this
is hard to believe, but it's a fact!) Doggies back then weren't as nice as
they are now, and the hoomins were a lot stinkier (most of 'em, anyway).
This meant that neither doggies nor hoomins were furry happy. The doggies
were sad because they didn't get good skritches or belly-rubbings, and
'specially cause they didn't get any T*R*E*A*T*S. Hoomins were sad
onaccounta they couldn't see well in the dark and couldn't smell or hear
much either, so nighttimes were scary for them - and they didn't have any
warm doggies to cuddle up with and stay warm.
So the poor doggies would just stay out in the woods all night and howl
their misery, and the howls would frighten the hoomins who were huddling in
caves trying to stay warm.
Then one night there came a big thunder and frightening storm. The
frightening came down and started a fire, and the hoomins all gathered
'round to look at it. They realized that it gave light and was warm, and
they were furry happy and started singing songs. Then a smart hoomin tried
cooking some meat over the fire, and it smelled goodgoodgood!!!
The wild doggies heard these happy songs and smelled the goodgoodgood meat
cooking, and came to 'vestigate. As they arrived, the fire started to burn
low. The hoomins threw on more wood, but pretty soon they ran out - it was
too dark to go far from the fire to look for more! The fire got smaller
and smaller, and the hoomins became cold and afraid and began to cry. They
sounded very sad.
The doggies saw what was going on, though, and took pity on the hoomins.
They sat down together and quietly woofed about the situation, until they
came up with a plan.
The alpha leader of the doggies went into the dark woods and found the
biggest stick he could lift. He carried this stick to the edge of the
light around the hoomins' fire, then dropped it and sat down behind it. At
first, the hoomins were frightened when they saw the wild doggie, but the
wise alphadoggie just sat quietly until the hoomins calmed down. Then he
started communicating with the hoomins: sniffing at the air, then licking
his chops, then nudging the stick.
Soon, the alphahoomin figured it out. He got a piece of the meat cooking
on the fire and threw it past the alphadoggie, who ran after it and gobbled
it up. When the doggie chased after the meat, the hoomin quickly grabbed
the stick and added it to the fire. This was the origin of what we now
call "Trick for T*R*E*A*T" - the doggie had taught hoomins to give
T*R*E*A*T*S in exchange for useful tricks!!
Then, another doggie went and got a stick and took it to the hoomins, and
she got a T*R*E*A*T, too. Soon, all the doggies were running for sticks
and getting T*R*E*A*Ts, and the fire grew nice and big and toasty.
Before long all the doggies were tired from their fetching and had bellies
full of warm T*R*E*A*T*S, and they wanted to be cozy. By this time, the
hoomins had lost some of their fear of the doggies and would allow them
close enough to touch. Finally, one hoomin got brave enough to touch one
of the doggies, and felt how soft and warm her fur was. The hoomin
couldn't resist rubbing that nice fur, and it felt so good that the doggie
rolled over on her back. This was the first skritch, and the first
belly-rubbing, too, and it cemented the friendship between doggies and
Soon, all the hoomins had found a doggie to skritch and everyone and
everydoggie was happy! The hoomins began singing again, and the doggies
joined in with their howls. And that's why we remember the first night
that doggies and hoomins spent together as Howl-O-e'en.
Of course, since doggies engineered the whole thing, hoomins remember it
differently. To them, Howl-O-e'en was pretty scary, at least at first, so
when hoomins talk about it they think of scary stuff like wicked witches
and black cccccats. But they also carve faces in punkins and put little
fires inside them to remember that first fire, and they give T*R*E*A*T*S to
hoominpups who come to their dens wearing scary outfits, just like they
gave T*R*E*A*T*S to those first scary wilddoggies.