Danny wanted to be anything but a Dachshund.
Danny's legs were short: he couldn't run as fast as his Labrador friends. His body was long: he couldn't maneuver as quickly as his Yorkie friends. His ears were wrong and his nose was long, and the very worst part about being a Dachshund was that every time October rolled around, Danny's classmates started calling him the Hallowiener.
Each year Danny tried to dress up as something that would give him a different shape, but he always ended up looking like a hotdog in a cape. Danny hated Halloween.
What Danny the Dachshund didn't know was that this Halloween was going to be different from every Halloween before it, because this Halloween a family of black cats had moved into town.
The youngest of the black cat family was named Bartleby, and unlike his brothers, whose favorite pastime was spooking humans, Bartleby was what is commonly referred to in feline circles as a "'fraidy cat."
Bartleby hated Halloween as much if not more than Danny the Dachshund. Danny might have been a Hallowiener, but at least people weren't shooing and scatting and chasing him off with a broom because they thought he was bad luck.
Underneath the black cat family's house, there lived a family of rats. Tomás was the smallest in the family. He was so small that his brothers called him a mouse.
You've heard it said, I'm sure, that dogs hate cats and cats hate rats, but that's because you've never seen them work together to solve a Halloween mystery.
One Autumn evening near Halloween, just as the sun was beginning to make the leaves look like they were on fire, Danny was running as fast as he could (which, admittedly, was not very fast) away from the playground because he'd had enough name-calling. Bartleby the Black Cat was running as fast as he could toward his house, looking over his shoulder because his brothers were chasing him and acting like zombies. And Tomás the Rat was running as fast as he could, though he couldn't see where he was going because his hands were full of stolen pie.
All at once, the dog, the cat, and the rat collided. There was growling and hissing and clawing before, finally, the three animals managed to disentangle themselves from one another. Before they could even introduce themselves, they saw it: the thing that would change their Halloweens forever...