The Wolf and the Witch, our world premiere improvised fairy tale show, runs October 3 – 12 at the Ballard Underground and tickets are onsale now ($12 advance purchase.) Click here to buy tickets at Brown Paper Tickets!
The cast of “The Wolf and the Witch” is writing their own original fairy tales as part of the rehearsal process. Story #1 was “The Tale of Hubert and Pooch” by Cheryl Platz – if you missed it, check it out!
Today’s story comes from Chris Wong, whose first show with Seattle Experimental Theater was “Wedding Horror Stories” in the summer of 2013. Here’s what Chris had to say about the inspiration for his story:
This was inspired by a story from a young gentleman who was visiting Pike Place Market. He was asked to speak of a time he got into trouble as a child and recounted a story of how he was forbidden from picking apples from his grandfather’s tree, but, being mischievous, knocked down all the apples with a baseball bat when his grandfather wasn’t home one day, and was beaten up by his grandfather as punishment for it.
Sharing isn’t Caring
Once upon a time there was a young boy who lived with his mean, old grandfather. The boy’s father and mother had passed away when he was very young, leaving him alone in the world, but for the grandfather, who every day would scold him and threaten to beat him. The boy, alone and weak, had not a friend in the world. Beyond that, they were very poor.
However, one day, the grandfather came home with a magic seed and demanded that the boy make himself useful and plant it. The boy did so, and every day, without fail, watered and nurtured the seed until it soon began grew into a beautiful apple tree. As the boy soon discovered, this was no ordinary apple tree – it was a magic tree that could speak to him and speak it did, telling the boy, “My apples have no seeds, but gold coins at their center! These apples are my gift to you and I will bear them as long as I so shall live on one condition – that you only use the apples which fall from my branches and never the ones which still hang from my limbs.”
The boy excitedly told his grandfather of this fantastic news, which finally brought happiness to the grandfather’s life. From that day forward, every day, the boy would collect the apples that fell to the ground and the grandfather would slice them open, collecting the gold coins within and using them to provide for the family. They were by no means wealthy, but were finally able to get by with their newfound source of income. Better yet, the boy finally had a friend and every day, he and the apple tree would spend hours chatting away. The boy often wished he could be as strong and sturdy as the tree and the tree wished he could travel and see the world as the boy did, as the tree was unable to move, being forever rooted to the ground. However, through thick and thin, they had each other.
Until one day, as the boy and the tree were relaxing as they usually did, the boy noticed someone he had never noticed before – a young, very beautiful girl. She was very thin and looked in need of a meal. The boy, excited to finally have another friend, asked the girl what he could do to impress her. The girl replied that she was very hungry and could the boy spare but a few apples from the tree. The boy attempted to offer her the apples that had fallen to the ground, but the girl insisted that she only wanted the fresh apples which still hung from the tree’s branches. The boy, overcome with excitement, reached for his knife and was about to cut the apples from the tree, when the tree piped up, reminding the boy that he was only to use the apples that fell to the ground, but never to cut the apples from the branches. The boy, remembering their deal, sadly informed the girl that he could not offer her the unfallen apples. The girl, in a huff, stormed off.
However, the next day, the girl again walked by, and again drew the boy’s attention. Again, she repeated her request and again rebuffed the boy’s offer of the apples from the ground. Again, the boy drew his knife, only to be reprimanded by the tree, and again the boy denied the girl’s request.
This continued day after day, week after week, and as the girl grew thinner and thinner, the boy’s resolve began to wane. Finally, one day, he could stand it no more, and when the girl requested the apples from the tree, he drew his knife and began to cut the apples. The tree began wailing in despair and the forest animals – birds, squirrels, and raccoons – also begged the boy to stop. Yet, he continued to hack and slash at the tree’s branches until he had cut all of the apples from the branches. The boy offered the apples to the girl, who greedily snatched them all up. However, she did not eat them, but began to break them open, collecting the gold coins and tossing the remains aside. As she did so, her form began to change, and the boy, too late, realized she was not a young, hungry girl, but an evil greedy witch who had disguised herself in order to take advantage of the boy’s kindness. The boy demanded the return of the coins, but the witch, in a puff of smoke, vanished. As the boy turned back to apologize to the tree, he was horrified to see that the tree had begun to decay and rot. Within seconds, despite the boy’s pleadings, the tree had crumbled to dust, heartbroken at the boy’s betrayal of their deal.
The boy found himself again alone and friendless. Worse yet, when his grandfather returned home and realized what had happened, his kindness again vanished and he beat the boy mercilessly with his cane. The boy, still weak and never becoming as strong as his friend, the tree, lay helplessly, learning his lesson about trusting strangers from that day forward.
Stay tuned for more original fairy tales from our cast members, backstage insights, and updates! Less than 2 weeks until you’ll be able to watch this cast creating new fairy tales live in “The Wolf and the Witch”. Shows run October 3 – 12; click here to buy advance tickets.