I was bringing the family back home after a long night of trick-or-treating. After a final stop at a cousin‘s house, we finally gathered our loot for the evening and headed for the shed. It was past bedtime for both the kids and I knew I wouldn't be far behind.

On our way through town one kid was walking on the side of the road about 20 minutes after trick-or-treating had stopped. Strange...but not super out of the ordinary.

What was strange...he stuck out his thumb hitchhiker-style. We drove past him but all of a sudden concern filled the car. Was he actually in trouble? Was he lost? So with some convincing from my kids (who guilted me by saying "what if that was me"), we turned around to check on the boy.

They were super worried about him.

I rolled down the window and asked if he was OK. He said yeah, it was just late. I asked if he needed to call someone. He declined, saying he had his own phone and assured us he was fine...even though his voice was quivering.

As we drove away, the whole scenario slowly kind of fell into place.

To my vantage point...I was offering to help out a poor kid who was alone on Halloween night. He had no idea about the concerned children in the back seats.

To him, I was some strange dude wearing a chicken on my head (I was wearing a chicken on my head) talking to him from my dark car.

He was probably goofing around by putting his thumb out...and I'll bet he didn't think that actually worked. Perhaps he saw it in a movie and thought..."this will never work. This 'thumbing a ride thing' is an artifact from the 70's."

We’re pretty sure by offering to help, we made him think he was almost kidnapped. We took this as a chance to teach the kids a bit of a life lesson. He really did do the right thing...by backing up from the car and making excuses to walk away.

Nice job kid!  Just, please...no more hitchhiking for you.  I hope you got home safe and weren't too freaked out by this whole thing.

Happy Halloween.