The Gypsy and the Rabbi’s Wife
The Fairy Tale. Part I
A long time ago, so long ago that most people have forgotten, a brave knight fought a giant troll to save a nearby village. The troll was diseased, and wherever he went, he brought destruction and sickness.
The troll fought dirty, and had the size advantage, but the knight was not only strong and courageous but also clever. After an intense and long battle, the knight killed the troll. However, the knight did have one flaw, his anger. In his anger, he spitefully cut off the troll’s nose and buried it.
That night it rained.
The next day a tree grew out of the spot where the troll’s nose was buried. It was a stunted, dark, and twisted thing, with a thick warped trunk the color of bile, and a few short branches without any leaves. The ground around it became bleached, the color of old bones in the desert, and everything that once grew where the tree stood, withered and died.
The nearby villagers knew right away that the tree was evil and warned the children never to play near it, but even the youngest children needed no warning — they could feel the presence of evil. For generation after generation, mothers scared their children with tales of the tree. “If you don’t behave, we’re going to banish you to the tree!”
But over time, memories fade, and people get used to everything, even strange, evil trees. Years go by, villages become towns, towns grow or get razed in wars, the geography of the land changes with the decades that flow into centuries. But still the tree guarded its dead land, and the barren land protected its dead tree.
End of Part I