All right, are you guys all tucked in? I’m going to read you a bedtime story.
This story comes from the days when “fairy tale” also meant “macabre tale of death and terror.”
“Yay! We want a GOOD story!”
“A scary one!”
Okay, okay! Settle down. This is a good one. It’s called The Juniper Tree.
“That doesn’t sound scary!”
“Yeah, it needs to have a monster in it!”
Oh, but it does, my pretties! It’s about a woman who wants a baby-
“That’s not scary!”
Right, but she has the baby and dies and gets buried under a tree. THEN her husband remarries and that woman kills his son because she wants her husband’s inheritance to go to her daughter.
“That’s…that’s kinda messed up.”
“Yeah, but it’s not really scary.”
Oh, but she doesn’t want the husband to know she killed his son, so after cutting the kid’s head off she tapes it back on and tells her daughter (the boy’s half sister) to punch him in the face if he won’t give her an apple. She does it and thinks she knocked his block clean off! Then they tell the kids’ dad that the boy ran away to his uncle’s or something and serve the boy as a stew to his own father!
“I’m not sure I want to hear any more of this story.”
“Yeah, this is more like a ‘Not Safe For Life’ story than a scary one.”
“Can I go home?”
So anyway she buries the kid’s bones under the same tree where his mom was buried. But then this bird shows up, right? And it’s all singing to people about how it died at the hands of its mother, and these people start giving the bird gifts-
“Who gives a gift to a bird?”
“Yeah, if a bird shows up and starts singing to me about its own mother murdering it via stewpot I’m not giving it anything because I’ll be too busy swallowing Aripiprazole by the handful.”
So the stepmother goes out to see what this bird’s all about, and the bird drops a millstone on her head and kills her!
“I really don’t like this much moral conflict before bed.”
So the dad and daughter run out to see what’s going on and surprise! The boy is standing there, all smiles. Then they eat dinner. The end.
“Sweet Jesus, Dad. Where do you get these stories?”
Germany, I think.
“That explains it.”
Wear this shirt: While singing happily in a tree to lure a woman to a grim and untimely death, if that’s your thing.
Don’t wear this shirt: While planting trees, unless you don’t mind it getting all sweaty.
This shirt tells the world: “Meh. I’ve seen scarier.”
We call this color: Did you know they made a movie out of this starring Black? I mean Bjork.
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