The Old Woman in the Wood

The Old Woman in the WoodThe Old Woman in the Wood

If you like trees this might be a story for you. I like trees, trees are neat.

Once upon a time there was a young woman who was traveling in a great forest with a family she served. While the party was traveling in the woods robbers ambushed the party and murdered everyone in sight, except for the young woman. She leapt out of the carriage and hid behind a tree and the robbers did not see her.

She was very sad that everyone had been murdered as she surveyed the carnage. She determined to sit under a tree and stay there and let what happened happen. After she had sat there a while, a white dove flew down with a key. It gave the key to the young woman and told her to use it to unlock a tree the dove indicated. Inside the tree would be enough food that the young woman would not be hungry. The young woman unlocked the tree and found bread and milk.

The girl was tired after this and was determined to find somewhere to sleep. The dove flew down once more with another key. The dove told her to open a different tree. Inside she would find a bed. The girl did open the tree and found a beautiful white bed. There she slept.

In the morning the dove came again. It gave her another key and told her in a different tree she would find clothes. She did this and found the most beautiful clothes. They were set with jewels and gold. The girl lived in the forest for a while. Each day the dove came and gave her everything she needed.

One day the dove came to her and asked her a favor. The girl agreed right away. The dove told her that she must go to a small house where a woman would be. The woman would speak to her, but the girl was not to respond. There would be a door that led to a different room. The girl must go in the other room and there would be many rings in there. The girl was to look for a plain ring amongst all the beautiful rings. When she found the ring she was supposed to take it to the dove as soon as possible.

The girl did as asked. She went to the house. The witch said good day, but the girl did not answer. The witch told her to go away, but she did not listen. The witch grabbed the girl’s gown, but the girl got away. The girl managed to get past the witch and into the other room. There were beautiful rings on a table there. The girl looked through them, but they were all ornate and not one of them was plain. She soon spied the witch, who was trying to get away with a bird cage. The girl followed after her.

The girl took the cage from the witch. There was a bird inside with a plain ring in its beak. The girl took the ring and went back to her spot in the forest. The girl thought the dove would come right away, but it did not. She sat down and leaned against a tree to wait for it. As she sat there the tree softened and twined around her. She was surprised because the branches weren’t branches anymore, but arms.

The tree was now a handsome man who embraced her and kissed her. The man told the girl that she had released him from the curse she was under. He was turned into a tree by the witch  and was able to be a dove for two hours each day. As long as the witch possessed the ring he was not able to turn back into a human. His servants and horses had also been turned into trees, but they were returned to their proper form. They went back to his kingdom, he was a prince, and they got married.

The End

The Old Woman in the WoodObservations

I really like trees, so I do like this story. I have a very large tree in my front yard that has to be a hundred years old or so. It’s a nice tree. I also have another tree that has mistletoe on it. Then there is the big tree with ivy all over it. Then there are the pecan trees. Then there are the two sugar maple trees. There are also some American chestnut trees. That’s just a few of the trees I have. Trees are great. In my dream house I would have a library that had a tree in the middle and inside of that tree would be a reading nook.

Usually when someone is turned into something else in the Grimm’s anthology they’ve been turned into an animal not a plant. Well, that isn’t necessarily true. There are times when people have been turned into roses and thorns. That’s usually two people though when that happens. This is the first time I have encountered someone being turned into a tree in the Grimm’s stories though. I do recall the juniper tree. Though in that story no one was necessarily turned into a tree.

We’ve got a magic ring again. I do have to wonder if all the other rings the witch had also represented people. She must have been a slow witch if the girl was able to catch up with her so easily.


We have common elements in this story such as being cursed into another object, a witch, a magic ring, a bird, a white dove, and so on. They’re all themes in a way. I don’t really see a lesson in this story. There isn’t a moral. It is a nice story, but there isn’t really anything to learn.

I will mention that the girl is willing to repay the dove for its kindness. This dove does save this girl’s life. She would have died had she been left in the forest alone. When the dove asks a favor the girl is willing without even hearing what it is the dove requests. She says yes right away. She agrees. Sometimes you have to owe something to someone when they help you out. Things end up ok for this girl. She repays her debt and is rewarded in the end. It doesn’t always end up like that, but even if it ends up bad, you should still remember to repay your debts.


I like how this guy was a tree. I wonder if all the other trees the girl unlocked were also people. That would be a bit weird.


About The Author


There's way too much to write in this tiny space, but let's be short about this. Ashe is the creator, maintainer, and writer of One-Elevenbooks and has been since 2011. She likes to make artwork and write novels. She also likes the outside, in general. Ashe has a BA in Fine Arts and a BS in Information Technology.

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