Short story or folktale from before 1972. Could be decades earlier. Two boys are pursued by monster who says something like, "Rum, rum, Sally Drum! Tearing up trees and throwing them as I come!" Boys take brief refuge with residents on their journey through the woods who tell them frightening tales and turn them out when the monster nears. Not a child's story. Read this in high school literature in the 70's.


1 Answer 1


The Spooky Thing (1960) by William O. Steele

Two ill-tempered brothers mend their ways after an encounter with an awesome creature in the woods. Adapted from a Tennessee folk tale called Chicky-Licky-Chow-Chow-Chow.

A page with the creature speaking:

Excerpt from page 28, where the creature speaks the relevant phrase

"At last Meriweather said he couldn't go another step until he got his breath back. He stopped and leaned against a tree, weak as a jug of town water.
"If you stop now, you'll be eaten sure," said Gist.
"It don't make me no never-mind," answered his brother.
And way, way off in the dark they heard the THING hollder out:

"Bum, bum, Sally Lum,
Tearing up trees
And throwing them as I come."

The creature is indeed described as having eyes like lit coals, and they do encounter a family who tells them a scary story before turning them out when the creature is heard.


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