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Age Rating 8 Plus.
A Scary story from The Brothers Grimm.
Start of Story
XLong, long ago, some two thousand years or so, there lived a rich
man with a good and beautiful wife. They loved each other dearly, but
sorrowed much that they had no children. So greatly did they desire
to have one, that the wife prayed for it day and night, but still they
In front of the house there was a court, in which grew a juniper-tree.
One winter's day the wife stood under the tree to peel some apples, and
as she was peeling them, she cut her finger, and the blood fell on the
snow. 'Ah,' sighed the woman heavily, 'if I had but a child, as red as
blood and as white as snow,' and as she spoke the words, her heart grew
light within her, and it seemed to her that her wish was granted, and
she returned to the house feeling glad and comforted. A month passed,
and the snow had all disappeared; then another month went by, and all
the earth was green. So the months followed one another, and first the
trees budded in the woods, and soon the green branches grew thickly
intertwined, and then the blossoms began to fall. Once again the wife
stood under the juniper-tree, and it was so full of sweet scent that her
heart leaped for joy, and she was so overcome with her happiness, that
she fell on her knees.
Presently the fruit became round and firm, and
she was glad and at peace; but when they were fully ripe she picked the
berries and ate eagerly of them, and then she grew sad and ill. A little
while later she called her husband, and said to him, weeping. 'If I
die, bury me under the juniper-tree.' Then she felt comforted and happy
again, and before another month had passed she had a little child, and
when she saw that it was as white as snow and as red as blood, her joy
was so great that she died.
Her husband buried her under the juniper-tree, and wept bitterly for
her. By degrees, however, his sorrow grew less, and although at times he
still grieved over his loss, he was able to go about as usual, and later
on he married again.
He now had a little daughter born to him; the child of his first wife
was a boy, who was as red as blood and as white as snow. The mother
loved her daughter very much, and when she looked at her and then looked
at the boy, it pierced her heart to think that he would always stand in
the way of her own child, and she was continually thinking how she could
get the whole of the property for her. This evil thought took possession
of her more and more, and made her behave very unkindly to the boy. She
drove him from place to place with cuffings and buffetings, so that the
poor child went about in fear, and had no peace from the time he left
school to the time he went back.
One day the little daughter came running to her mother in the
store-room, and said, 'Mother, give me an apple.' 'Yes, my child,' said
the wife, and she gave her a beautiful apple out of the chest; the chest
had a very heavy lid and a large iron lock.
'Mother,' said the little daughter again, 'may not brother have one
too?' The mother was angry at this, but she answered, 'Yes, when he
comes out of school.'
Just then she looked out of the window and saw him coming, and it seemed
as if an evil spirit entered into her, for she snatched the apple out
of her little daughter's hand, and said, 'You shall not have one before
your brother.' She threw the apple into the chest and shut it to. The
little boy now came in, and the evil spirit in the wife made her say
kindly to him, 'My son, will you have an apple?' but she gave him a
wicked look. 'Mother,' said the boy, 'how dreadful you look! Yes, give
me an apple.' The thought came to her that she would kill him. 'Come
with me,' she said, and she lifted up the lid of the chest; 'take one
out for yourself.' And as he bent over to do so, the evil spirit urged
her, and crash! down went the lid, and off went the little boy's head.
Then she was overwhelmed with fear at the thought of what she had done.
'If only I can prevent anyone knowing that I did it,' she thought. So
she went upstairs to her room, and took a white handkerchief out of
her top drawer; then she set the boy's head again on his shoulders, and
bound it with the handkerchief so that nothing could be seen, and placed
him on a chair by the door with an apple in his hand.
Soon after this, little Marleen came up to her mother who was stirring
a pot of boiling water over the fire, and said, 'Mother, brother is
sitting by the door with an apple in his hand, and he looks so pale;
and when I asked him to give me the apple, he did not answer, and that
'Go to him again,' said her mother, 'and if he does not answer, give him
a box on the ear.' So little Marleen went, and said, 'Brother, give me
that apple,' but he did not say a word; then she gave him a box on the
ear, and his head rolled off. She was so terrified at this, that she ran
crying and screaming to her mother. 'Oh!' she said, 'I have knocked off
brother's head,' and then she wept and wept, and nothing would stop her.