So now I have anatidaephobia but for pumpkins
August 24, 2012 9:08 PM   Subscribe

Anyone remember a terrifying children's book about fleeing from a slowly rolling pumpkin?

Can anyone remember a children's novel which is mostly about trying to evade a pumpkin? The back story is the classic 'evil dwarf is trapped in a pumpkin by the king', but I don't remember where the plot ends up. The pumpkin is chasing the hero(es?). If it touches people, something bad happens; I forget whether they die/become ill/become evil. The pumpkin rolls slowly, but while you'd think it would be easy to escape, it can keep moving all the time, whereas the hero(es?) are human and have to sleep occasionally (in trees for safety). It's essentially a very slow fairy-tale Terminator. I remember various very slow chase scenes through vineyards and country lanes.

I'm almost certain it's not actually a 'classic' fairy tale (e.g. written/collated by the Grimms or similar) but a modern child's novel based on those narratives. I read it in the UK in the 1990s.

I'd like to find it again because I've always been in awe of the author's ability to make a squash blood-chillingly scary. Ring any bells with anyone?
posted by pickingupsticks to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: "Knock Three Times!"?
posted by (alice) at 10:21 PM on August 24, 2012

Best answer: Knock Three Times?

Apparently there was a TV adaptation of it in the 1960's in the UK:
"A fairytale style serial about two young kids, Jack and Molly, being
caught up in a story involving a Goblin King trapped inside a Grey
Pumpkin but determined to make a bid for freedom."
posted by littlesq at 10:22 PM on August 24, 2012

The Runaway Pumpkin? This is random: The Rolling Pumpkin, but it cites a couple sources for rolling pumpkin stories.
posted by bendy at 11:20 PM on August 24, 2012

I can't help any more than this: I have a vague memory of the same thing.
posted by gjc at 8:00 AM on August 25, 2012

Response by poster: Oh man (alice) and littlesq, that's it. Thank you! That cover is really inappropriately innocent-looking.
posted by pickingupsticks at 10:26 AM on August 25, 2012

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