Trees That Bow Low


Once upon a time, in a Norwegian wood,

There lived a kind woodsman,

Both loyal and good.

He lived with his wife who bore him a child

Then another, a boy,

Unruly and wild.


The Winter’s were cruel,

No food to be found.

What little there was

Lay under the ground.

The woodsman despaired,

His wife became weak.

They drifted apart

And seldom would speak.


The children seemed happy, content in their play.

The boy schemed a scheme and

The girl would obey.

They gathered up clothes and food they could steal,

Oats, bread and honey,

Enough for one meal.


They entered the wood,

The trees bowed down low

Showing the children

Which way to go.

The animals hid,

Not wanting to see

The Devil’s own son

Reach his destiny.


The morning arrived, bringing pain and despair,

For the wife checked their beds,

The children weren’t there!

The woodsman, distraught, took his axe and said,

“Wife, do as you’re told

And stay under the bed.”


For he knew the signs,

Of the Devils game.

His son, his own boy,

Was just not the same.

He’d known it for years,

It pained him to say,

But he knew the game

Would be ended this day.


Entering the wood, axe slung over his shoulder,

He furiously paced,

Grabbing a boulder.

Then with stealth, grace and a view through the trees

He launched his missile

With impossible ease.


Again the trees bowed,

Obscuring the view.

The boulder was lost.

Now on to phase two.

With his axe in hand

He cut through the wood,

His children watching.

One Evil, one Good.


The small boy, with a smile, stood, knife at the throat

Of his sister beside him

Who’s eyes looked remote.

With both menace and calm the deed was then done.

The woodsman’s two children

Became only one.


The little girl fell,

Her father yelled, “No!”

The boy licked his knife

With relish and so

The sacrifice done,

Pure blood in his vein

The boy stood trembling.

The trees bowed again.


The boy stood, transformed and still covered in blood

From his sisters throat

Who was pure and good.

Too good, it would seem, for the Devil’s own son,

For as Evil struggled,

It was Good that had won.


Now cradled and safe,

Sister and brother

Were transported home

To the arms of their mother.

The Evil now Good,

The dead now alive.

Winter now ended,

The family thrived.


And what of the Devil, who possessed the son?

He left them alone,

And went on the run.

But where he is now, you can’t possibly know,

Just please watch your sons,

And trees that bow low.


images (6)


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