Halloween Greetings from a Box Turtle

Unfortunately (read: “fortunately”), Sage’s elementary school forbade violent costumes, so his original soldier get-up was off the table. I was secretly grateful that I wouldn’t be obliged to pack him off to school bearing arms.

No violent little dictators were allowed at the elementary school. Oh, darn.

Sage’s soldier costume worked well for my friend’s Halloween party, but it was too violent for the elementary school. Oh, darn.

Happily, Sage had another idea in mind for the school party: He would be a box turtle. Why a box turtle? Two reasons. First, the shell would literally be made out of a box (with a generous layer of duct tape applied to the surface.) Second–and perhaps more importantly in Sage’s mind–“The box turtle is the only turtle that can completely retract its head and legs.” (This appears to be yet another factoid he’s gleaned from his favorite show, Wild Kratts.) Why retractable limbs are important in the choice of a Halloween costume, I cannot say, but who am I to judge?

Sage conscripted his father to aid in the construction of his masterpiece, and the box turtle sprang (or crawled) to life. In terms of practicality, it left much to be desired, since squeezing it into the back seat of my car took considerable effort. The lack of arm holes also made candy collecting problematic.

Sage gets into character as a box turtle.

Sage gets into character as a box turtle.

But what the costume lacked in practicality, it made up for in novelty. Sage debuted it at school and then kept it in action at the high school’s Halloween Eve Trick-or-Treating night (which involved be-costumed high schoolers sitting outside classrooms and passing out candy in between pauses to consult their phones). By the end of the evening, he was pushing his box through the hall, candy bag perched on top, and puzzling everyone he passed. (“What are you supposed to be??”)

Nevertheless, he made a good haul. You just can’t keep a good turtle down.

Sage rests after his candy collecting labors.

Sage rests after his candy collecting labors.


  1. A “No” from the school resulted in a resounding “Yes” in Sage’s creativity. Maybe someday your son can write (or co-write) a blog post here. Great job!

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