The Pumpkins Thieves
A novel and full-length feature film script for older children. The story takes place somewhere in Virginia in 1912. Adrianna and Jared are brother and sister, their father the owner of a prosperous ranch/farm. Adrianna is the eldest, a girl just entering puberty and very much attracted to all the furbishes of being a ‘lady’. Jared, the more intelligent and compassionate of the two siblings, is several years younger. His playmate is ‘Daisy’ (Doireann), the daughter of the ranch housekeeper. Daisy has started to hear singing and musical instruments playing in the woods when there appears to be nobody about, and one night she goes to investigate. But when she takes Jared to sit in the woods, they only see fleeting shadows, nothing substantial.
The ‘Squire’ as they call Redfern the rancher, is a widower sweet on Daisy’s mother, Mrs. Midir. She keeps him at a distance in spite of the fact that he is a very nice, handsome man...for reasons of her own. She reveals to Daisy that she has never been married...to a human. Daisy’s father is a prince of the Fae, and this is why she can hear them in the woods.
Adrianna’s best friend Alexander Eppinton-ffolkes lives on the next estate. Adrianna enlists Alexander’s help – she knows Jared and Daisy are going out to the old bridge, which has been forbidden as it is not safe. The Redfern governess, Edwina Feeble, is teaching Adrianna that it is her place to be the lady of the manor...but the governess isn’t knowledgeable enough to know that a great lady is gracious.
Daisy and Jared see Trianna, Queen of the Faeries and her consort, Hefeydd. Jared refuses to believe what he has seen, but Daisy has heard them saying there is something they must do that night involving Squire Redfern’s ‘prize pumpkin’, and she sneaks out alone, hoping to catch the Faeries. But Trianna knows she is hiding, and calls her out, charging her to guard the prize pumpkin, as inside it are the tiny spirits that will renew their part of the earth, and they must be released on the night of the Autumnal Equinox.
Owen Redfern tells Mrs. Midir that his old housekeeper, now stricken in years, is coming to the ranch and will be living in the house his grandfather built. She will teach the children music and how to play the piano. Mrs. Midir agrees to help get the house in order for Granny McCall. But when Granny arrives, she isn’t exactly what Mrs. Midir expected...she is driving the curricle herself, while the Squire plays in the back with the children. Elva McCall and Etoain Midir would become good friends.
Daisy tells Elva about the faeries in the forest. Elva teaches Daisy and Jared about the Faerie world, how they are different from humans, and although beautiful and sometimes benevolent, they were to be viewed with caution. One night after a dinner party at Alexander’s house, when the parents were discussing their own affairs, Jared and Daisy sneak off to the woods. Adrianna and Alexander follow them, and they see the faeries themselves...but Adrianna won’t admit to seeing them, and she and Alexander have a falling-out over her stubbornness.
Jared and Alexander start to study the Faerie legend. Alexander has a huge, illustrated book from England that they use, and Mrs. McCall assists them with the legends of Ireland. Adrianna did indeed see the Faeries, and she knows they require the prize pumpkin for something. She decides this is dangerous, and that she will hide the pumpkin from the faeries and from Daisy until after the big Autumn fair. She disguises herself as a maid and manages to transport the pumpkin to an old, abandoned shed beyond the fields. As she returns, Mrs. Midir sees her and thinks she is one of the maids, but cannot find her when she ascends the stairs to the second level.
The two faeries who have been assigned to release the earth spirits from the giant pumpkin are the ones who discover it is missing. They begin to search for it, and Jared spots the problem next. Jared fetches Daisy and Etoian; Etoian runs for the woods, hoping to catch the faeries there. Owen Redfern sees her, and also follows. He discovers the pumpkin is missing, and questions his workers and Adrianna about it. The workers, of course, know nothing about it, and Adrianna feigns shock and surprise.
Some pixies lead the faeries to where the pumpkin is hidden. Their path crosses that of Etoian and the children, and this is where Daisy meets her father, Prince Valdarian, sister to Queen Trianna. Naturally Owen, his men and Adrianna come upon them as well, and it is the Elven prince who teaches Adrianna some humility. It becomes dangerous and tricky when Adrianna rudely pushes Etoian out of the way, claiming she is nothing but a servant. Valdarian suspends Adrianna in the air, wondering why he should not crush her like a bug for insulting his beloved. Etoian begs for mercy for the girl, and Valdarian releases her, but tells them she is the one who knows where the pumpkin with the earth spirits is hidden. Until she tells them, he turns her bright orange...the color of a pumpkin.
Valdarian sends Adrianna with Jared and Daisy, along with Alexander whom the Prince charges with overseeing the others, and with orders not to return without the pumpkin. When they bring it to the gathering at the edge of the woods, Adrianna has realized there are living things inside the pumpkin, and they are suffering. They are better once in the woods, and must be freed that night.
Owen Redfern asks Etoian to marry him, but she insists she is still married to Valdarian and always will be. She confesses she does love him, however...and Mrs. McCall, who is friends with the Fae and has no fear of them, decides to fix the situation herself. She and Daisy confront Valdarian, who says he and Etoian are no longer wed, and he will fix the situation to their satisfaction.
The earth spirits are released from the pumpkin and go throughout the forest to renew the land. Etoian is released from her vow to Prince Valdarian, and the story ends at the big Autumn Carnival. Etoian has agreed to wed Owen, the prize pumpkin takes the prize, and Daisy and Jared ride a Ferris Wheel for the first time.