Okay, so I don't mean this in a literal sense. It just seemed like a good title. :raspwolf: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is quite possibly my favorite Halloween story of all time. It isn't any wonder, as it's been a Halloween staple in the United States since it was first broadcast in 1966. It's very likely to be every American child's first exposure to Halloween as a concept, and it will likely continue to be for some time. However, as a child, I never gave it much thought beyond the fact that it's a beautiful and entertaining piece of art. Now that I'm an adult, specializing in literary analysis, my mind automatically begins pulling stories apart and studying the pieces under a microscope. I had come to a conclusion of my own about the story, but I was quite taken by the explanation given by a short documentary on its creation: Jeannie Schulz: In Sparky's [Charles's] mind, it was necessary to believe in your own beliefs, and not let other people sway you from it. Mark Evanier (animation writer/historian): Here, Linus had cobbled up this little story that was pleasing to him, completely logical from his point of view, and completely harmless. Now, it was actually a very nice little story. And, people tried to disabuse him of it. And, he thought, "Why?" Why take that away from him? He's enjoying it so much. And, I think that's a parallel to our lives. We all have little things that we enjoy that people want to take away from us for no visible reason. ("We Need a Blockbuster, Charlie Brown") When I heard this, it made me jump up and take notice. It's analogous to what we often experience as otherkin/therians. The first thing that other people jump to when they hear of our beliefs is to point out how utterly ridiculous it all seems to them, followed by an effort to convince us of how wrong we must be. When that doesn't work, the harassment begins, a la Charlie Brown: "You must be crazy. When are you going to stop believing in something that isn't true?" To which we may reply, as a paraphrase of Linus's rebuttal: "When you stop believing in whatever it is that you believe." I think the moral of the story is that faith is important. We may not be able to prove our beliefs, but other people can't prove many of theirs, either. We may not be able to live as our kintypes, at least not in this life, but that doesn't mean that our beliefs lack meaning. Just like Linus, we return to that pumpkin patch year after year; and, in the end, it doesn't matter that the Great Pumpkin never shows up. What matters is that we just keep going.