The Juniper Tree A Retelling
Once upon a time there was a man and a woman. They lived in a house, in a town full of people and trees. Now, these two dear people had a tree in the back of their house. It was big and was emerald green.
It was twirled and had big black thorns that stuck out of the tree. The tree grew small berries as red as blood, and in the spring time it grew thousands around each twig. This tree was called the Juniper tree.
Our story takes place on a cold winter afternoon about one to two years after the Once upon a time part at the beginning of this story.
The woman sat outside in the snow under the Juniper tree with a knife and a basket of apples. The woman started to peel the apples.
As the woman peeled the apples she stared into the sky at the falling snow and said, "Oh I wish I had a child." Then all of a sudden she cut herself with the knife and a drop of blood fell from her finger onto the snow. The drop was as red as the berries and it poured over the snow.
"My child will be born with lips as red as my blood and skin as white as the snow."
Months later the woman gave birth to a little boy who had lips as red as blood and skin as white as snow and his hair was as black as his father's.
Then the woman started to giggle, then chuckle, and then she laughed and laughed with joy. And this poor woman laughed so hard that she popped a blood cell in her head and died right then and there in front of her newborn child.
"Oh my dear wife," cried the man. He picked her up and began to cry and the little boy wondered what had happened to their mother and why was she on the floor.
Days passed then months and then several years. The little boy had grown up and was big and strong. His name was Tim.
"Now Tim," his father said. "Your new mother and her daughter are coming to live with us today, so be a good boy and don't mess things up."
About an hour later, the doorbell rang, and standing in the doorway was a tall strict-looking woman, and standing to her left was a little girl with brown curly hair and black eyes.
"This is your mother, Heather, and her daughter Marlee, Tim."
The two of them came into the house and the moment Tim and Marlee saw each other they knew they would become best friends. Months passed and Tim noticed that his new mother never had a liking to him. She would always ignore him, and whenever Marlee had something, she would always smile and say, "Oh no Tim. There's nothing left." Then whatever it was she would take it out and play with it or eat it.
Now this is the thing that a real stepmother would never do in real life. This part in the story takes place on a spring morning when Tim and Marlee were out in the garden planting carrots when Marlee said "Tim, I'm going to go and get an apple from mother, do you want to come with me?"
"Sure," Tim replied.
The two children went inside and went over to their mother and Marlee said "dearest mother may I have an apple, please."
The mother turned and smiled at Marlee and said "of course my angel you can have an apple." Then she turned to a big chest in the corner and opened it to reveal a pile of apples as red as the berries on the Juniper tree in the backyard.
"Choose any of them," mother said. Marlee balanced herself on the edge of the chest with her stomach and took out a big red juicy apple.
"May I have an apple, dearest mother, please may I," Tim said, walking up to the chest.
Mother set her hand down on the chest lid and said "You know what I'm going to say?"
"Yes!" Tim said happily.
"No" she snapped and she slammed the chest down right in front of poor Tim. "Now go outside to your sister and don't come asking for apples because guess what, you are never going to get one while you're still alive. NOW GO!"
Poor little Tim sadly hung his head and walked out of the room. Marlee stood in the garden, "Here" she said, "You can have half of my apple, Tim."
"Thanks," he said trying to sound happy.
That evening Tim was going to leave to get more wood at the village when his mother said in a nice voice "Tim, dear, please come into the kitchen."
"Finally," he thought, "maybe now she will be nice to me." He ran into the kitchen to find his mother standing in the corner almost hidden in the shadows with the chest of apples open, showing its red treasure.
"Tim dear, I am so sorry for snapping at you earlier today. To show that I am truly sorry, I thought that I would let you choose a nice red juicy apple and eat it all by yourself. Now, how does that sound."
Tim was very happy so he went over to the chest and balanced on the edge on his stomach and peered in.
Then at that very moment, mother brought the top of the chest crashing down on Tim's neck and his head was cut off. His body swayed for a second or two then fell to the ground splattering blood all over the floor and the walls and even mother herself.
"Uh oh" she said wiping a drop of blood from her lip.
That cruel woman opened the chest to find a frightened but dead head of Tim staring up at her. So she took that head and that small dead body and went to the door.
She placed the headless body on a chair then put the pale head on the neck and tied it with her handkerchief. Then she took an apple and put it in his hand.
A few minutes latter Marlee came downstairs. "Mother," she said. "May I have an apple please?"
"Of course dear," her mother said. "Your brother has one."
So Marlee went out to the living room and saw Tim on the chair near the door, but Marlee didn't know he was dead so she walked right up to him and said, "Tim my dearest brother, may I have some of that apple." But of course, he didn't answer because he was as dead as a doorknob.
"Dearest brother can you hear me. May I have some of the apple please. I gave you some of mine." And again he did not answer because as we all know he is quite dead.
Marlee began to get impatient so she stormed back to her mother and said, "Mother, Tim is not answering."
"What a rude brother he i," replied mother. "Ask him again and if he doesn't answer, slap him across the face and don't worry, it won't kill him to notice you are there."
So Marlee, small innocent Marlee, went back to her brother and said, "For the third time may I have some of your apple Tim."
But like I said two other times, he didn't answer because he was dead, so small loving Marlee slapped him across the face and his head went flying across the room and hit the door splattering blood all over Marlee.
"AHHHHHHHHH" she screamed "I killed Tim!!" Marlee ran into the kitchen and said "Mother I killed Tim!"
"You ungrateful child" mother said crossly "why did you do such a horrible thing. Now quickly get the body and bring it to me."
So Marlee went out to the living room and got Tim and brought him to Mother. Mother took a meat knife and brought it down hard on Tim's arm and cut off all the meat until there was nothing but bones.
Mother took the meat and put it in a big stew pot and started to cook it. "Marlee dear take the bones and bury them under the Juniper tree." So Marlee took the bones and buried them under the tree.
"I'm home," father called.
"Good," said mother "Dinner is ready."
So Marlee, mother and father sat down to feast on their other child/brother named Tim.
"This is the best stew ever dear," said father as he slurped it down. "MORE MORE DEAR. MORE STEW!!" shouted father. Then all of a sudden, father stopped and stood up and said "What is that sound?"
Then Marlee heard it too and began to cry and then mother heard it too and started to clutch her stomach and scream in pain.
Outside in the garden a small bird sat on the branch of the Juniper tree. It was singing at the top of its lungs:
My mother, she killed me. My father, he ate me. My sister Marlee buried my bones beneath the Juniper tree. Kiwi, Kiwi what a beautiful bird am I.
Then it flew from the tree and over to the village. It went over to a jewelry store and sat on the window sill and sang his song.
My mother she killed me my father he ate me my sister Marlee buried my bones beneath the Juniper tree kiwi kiwi what a beautiful bird am I.
The jeweler came to the window and said to the bird "oh bird what a lovely song. Please sing it again!?"
"I will only sing for payment," replied the bird. The jeweler went into his shop and came out with a golden chain and put it in one of the bird's talons. Then the bird sang the song again. When he was done he flew off to a shoe shop. He sat on the windowsill of the shoe shop and sang his song.
"Oh bird please sing the song again," the shoemaker said.
"I will only sing for payment," replied the bird. So the shoe maker went inside and came out with a pair of small red shoes and the bird balanced them on his back and sang the song again.
When he was done singing the bird flew off to the mill where he found a group of men pushing a big mill stone back and forth. Then the bird started to sing his song. The men stopped pushing the mill stone and looked up at the bird.
"Sing the song again bird. Sing it again please," they cried.
And again the bird said "I only sing for payment."
But the men had nothing to give the bird so they asked "what should we give you, bird?"
"Give me the mill stone" said the bird, so the men put the mill stone on the birds neck which we all know in real life would kill a bird but let's just say birds can hold a mill stone. The bird sang the song and then flew back to the house that Marlee, mother and father lived in.
The bird sat on the Juniper tree and began to sing.
"Stop the horrible nuisance of a noise," mother cried from inside the house.
"I'm sorry I'm sorry" wailed Marlee.
"I love this song. It is the best thing I have ever heard," father said and he ran outside to see where the song was coming from. He saw the bird and it threw down the golden chain and father ran inside and said "Look at what I got!"
"I guess I'll go out and see what I'll get" Marlee said. She walked outside and the bird tossed down the pair of red shoes. Marlee took them and ran inside and cried "Look what I got, red shoes!"
Mother picked herself off the floor and said "I guess I should go out as well."
Mother went outside and when she saw the bird in the tree singing she started to yell at it. "Be quiet you stupid bir!d" she shouted.
Then the bird dropped the mill stone on mother and she was as flat as a pancake in five seconds.
Then the bird flew from the tree and sat on the mill stone and started to grow and he grew all the way into a human boy and this boy was Tim.
"Tim!" father and Marlee cried and they ran out to hug him.
"Let's go inside" father said and he took the two children by the hand and the three of them lived happily ever after with a tree that has black sharp needles and an evil mother who was squashed by a mill stone that still lies in the backyard today.