Rose Tree, the


Rose Tree, the
   This gruesome *fairytale (analogous to the *Grimms' 'The Juniper Tree') was collected in Devonshire by *Baring-Gould in the 1860s. A pretty little girl is murdered by her stepmother, who cooks her heart and liver and serves them to the child's father; she is then buried by a rose tree, where her little brother weeps for her daily. In the spring a white bird appears among the roses, sweetly singing:
   My wicked mother slew me,
   My dear father ate me,
   My little brother whom I love
   Sits below, and I sing above, Stick, stock, stone dead.
   The bird's song so charms various craftsmen that she gets from them a fine pair of shoes, a gold watch and chain, and a millstone. Carrying these, she lures the family out of the house one by one and drops the watch and chain on her father, the shoes on her brother - and the millstone on her stepmother.
   ■ Text in Henderson, 1866: 314-17; Jacobs, 1894/1968: 13-16; and Philip, 1992: 143-6, who adds references for some Yorkshire variants.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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