While Al dressed as the Moon for school yesterday, that wasn’t his Halloween costume. (The school picks a theme for kids to dress up, completely unrelated to Halloween, so they don’t have to deal with inappropriate costumes or offending families who don’t celebrate the holiday.) Last year he wanted to be a jester, but I couldn’t think of a way to make the costume. (He was a Viking instead.)
This year I found him a jester costume at Goodwill. It’s adult size, so I had to pin it in back, but he’ll be able to wear it again, for Halloween or any other time it suits the occasion. He was quite a happy jester, skipping and dancing his way down the street.
I found myself thinking about jesters, or fools as they are also known. One of our family’s favorite movies is The Court Jester, where Danny Kaye plays an ex-carnival entertainer turned minstrel, now pretending to be the new court jester in the court of the usurper to the throne of England. It’s a very funny movie, with a wonderful, wholesome sort of humor, unlike so much of what passes for humor in movies and TV shows today.
I also think of the poem “Fool’s Prayer,” by Edward Rowland Sill. I first found this poem in a book of religious verse from the library when I was a teenager. I was so impressed by the wisdom expressed in it that I typed it out and kept it on a bulletin board in my room, together with other poems and quotations that I found particularly meaningful.
In more general terms, jesters are a reminder of the importance of humor and laughter. If you’ve never read The Joyful Noiseletter, published by the Fellowship of Merry Christians, check it out!