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This story is suitable for children age 6 to 8 approx.
Why the juniper tree has berries.
From The Book of Nature Myths by Florence Holbrook.
Start of Story
Three cranberries once lived together in a meadow. They were sisters,
but they did not look alike, for one was white, and one was red, and one
was green. Winter came, and the wind blew cold. "I wish we lived nearer
the wigwam," said the white cranberry timidly. "I am afraid that Hoots,
the bear, will come. What should we do?"
"The women in the wigwam are afraid as well as we," the red cranberry
said. "I heard them say they wished the men would come back from the
"We might hide in the woods," the green cranberry whispered.
"But the bear will come down the path through the woods," replied the
"I think our own meadow is the best place," the red cranberry said. "I
shall not go away from the meadow. I shall hide here in the moss."
"I am so white," the white cranberry wailed, "that I know Hoots would
see me. I shall hide in the hominy. That is as white as I."
"I cannot hide in the hominy," said the green cranberry, "but I have a
good friend in the woods. I am going to ask the juniper-tree to hide me.
Will you not go with me?" But the red cranberry thought it best to stay
in the moss, and the white cranberry thought it best to hide in the
hominy, so the green cranberry had to go alone to the friendly
By and by a growling was heard, and soon Hoots himself came in sight. He
walked over and over the red cranberry that lay hidden in the moss. Then
he went to the wigwam. There stood the hominy, and in it was the white
cranberry, trembling so she could not keep still.
"Ugh, ugh, what good hominy!" said Hoots, and in the twinkling of an eye
he had eaten it up, white cranberry and all.
Now the red cranberry was dead, and the white cranberry was dead, but
the little green cranberry that went to the juniper-tree had hidden
away in the thick branches, and Hoots did not find her. She was so happy
with the kind-hearted tree that she never left it, and that is the
reason why the juniper-tree has berries.