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The Juniper-Tree

By Itellyouastory

Long, long ago, some two thousand years or so, there lived a rich manwith a good and beautiful wife. They loved each other dearly, butsorrowed much that they had no children.  So greatly did they  desire tohave one,  that the wife prayed for it day and night, but still theyremained childless.

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, andas she was peeling them,  she cut her  finger, and  the blood fell  onthe  snow. «Ah,» sighed the woman heavily, «if I had but a child, as redas blood and as white as snow,» and as she spoke the words, her heartgrew light within her, and it seemed to her that  her wish was granted,and she returned  to the house feeling glad and comforted. A monthpassed, and the snow had all disappeared; then another month went by,and all the earth was green.  So the months followed one another, andfirst the trees budded in the  woods, and soon  the  green  branchesgrew thickly  intertwined,  and  then  the blossoms began to fall. Onceagain the wife stood under the  juniper-tree, and it was so full ofsweet scent  that her heart leaped for joy, and  she was so overcomewith her happiness, that she fell on her knees.  Presently the fruitbecame round and firm, and  she was glad and at peace; but  when theywere fully ripe she picked the  berries and ate eagerly of them,  andthen she grew sad and  ill. A little while  later she called herhusband, and said to him, weeping. «If I die, bury me under thejuniper-tree.» Then she felt comforted and  happy again, and beforeanother month had  passed she had a little child, and when she saw thatit was as white as snow  and as red as blood, her joy was so great thatshe died.


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