Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Friendly Ghost

"But what happened to Casper the Friendly Kid?" the little boy found himself wondering.

On the television, the happy jingle to the Casper show played:

Casper the Friendly Ghost
Friendliest ghost we know
The kids all know that he loves them so
Casper the Friendly Ghost!

But Casper was a kid ghost, right? And ghosts were people who died, right? So it stood to reason that Casper was the ghost of a kid who died.

The little boy was smart about these things.

First, he read all of his Casper comic books. He thought maybe Casper was actually the ghost of Richie Rich (the two looked suspiciously like each other), but then he found a Richie Rich comic book where he talked to Casper, and you can't talk to your own ghost.

So he asked his mom about this (he didn't bother asking his dad, because he knew that Dad would only tell him tall tales).

His mom's face went pale. "Son," she said, "it's time we had a talk about Casper. Take a seat."

The little boy sat down on the couch next to his mom. His stomach was full of butterflies because she seemed so serious, and that often meant trouble for him.

"I wasn't watching too much television, I swear. I was just wondering."

"I know, sweetie. But you asked and now you have to know. Casper, you see, was a very naughty boy. He was a bully to the other children, he chased cats, he hit dogs with sticks, and was very mean to adults. Basically, he was a very, very bad boy."

"But Casper the Friendly Ghost is a good kid. Isn't he?" the little boy asked, suddenly full of confusion.

"Well, see, when Casper died, he was punished. He has to stay in Purgatory and be nice to everybody and watch himself and judge himself until he's fully atoned for all of the horrible things he did to everyone when he was alive."

"How long will that take, Mom?"

"I don't know, little Casper. I don't know."

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