The Groke is a character in the Moomin series of books authored by Swedish-speaking Finn Tove Jansson, appearing in four of the nine novels. She appears as a ghost-like, hill-shaped body with two cold staring eyes and a wide row of white shiny teeth. Wherever she stands, the ground below her freezes and plants and grass die. She leaves a trace of ice and snow when she walks the ground. Anything that she touches will freeze. On one occasion, she froze a campfire by sitting down on it. She seeks friendship and warmth, but she is declined by everyone and everything, leaving her in her cold cavern on top of the Lonely Mountains.
The 1990 Japanese-European anime television series Moomin is one of the few shows we sometimes let our two-year-old watch. Our daughter is obsessed with the Groke. She often says, “The Groke is too scary. See her?” She feels the exact same way about the big blue elephant from the Super Simple Songs animation of “Hickory Dickory Dock.” Ditto for Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster. On that note, other shows/movies we’ve recently let her watch are various Rankin/Bass holiday movies, Charlie Brown holiday shows and (probably more than anything else) the animated 1982 short The Snowman, including the special David Bowie introduction. David Bowie, who died two days ago, is one of the few musicians my daughter knows by name. Sad times that Bowie has departed Earth.