Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Girl with the Green Ribbon

When I was little my brother and I had a few spooky records that we brought out at this time of year: scary tales read aloud by various celebrities. I think Ron Howard was one of the narrators. The stories were pretty tame (the records came from the Scholastic Book Club, I'm pretty sure), but riveting. The only one I really remember is called, 'The Girl with the Green Ribbon.' I googled it yesterday—apparently it's an old folk tale, so it's part of the public domain. Here's my rendition:

Once there was a pretty little girl, very cheerful and sweet, who always wore a green ribbon tied around her neck. The little boy who sat behind her in class wondered for quite some time about the ribbon which peeked out at him from beneath her bobbed hair. One day he mustered up his courage and asked, 'Why do you always wear that green ribbon?' She shyly replied, 'If we get married when we grow up, I will tell you.'

Her shy reply turned out to be quite prophetic, for many years later, all grown up, these two schoolmates did fall in love and were married. On their wedding night the husband asked again, 'My darling, why won't you take off that green ribbon?' His bride guardedly replied, 'If we ever have children, my dear, I will tell you.'

As time went by, the couple had two lovely children, a boy and a girl. And so one day when he could stand it no longer the husband again asked, 'My dear wife, when will you tell me why you always wear that green ribbon?' The color left her cheeks as she replied, 'Husband, please... I'd rather you didn't know. Not now. Ask me again when we are old.'

The husband adored his wife and decided to be content with her answer, as his question had upset her so.

Many more years passed. The wife became ill and very frail. At her bedside, her beloved husband kissed her ashen cheek. 'My beloved, perhaps you will tell me now. Why do you wear that green ribbon?' A tear rolled down her sweet face as she replied, 'Forgive me for keeping it from you all this time, my dear. I will show you now, why I have always worn it.' With that she untied the green ribbon, and off rolled her head.

I made this image into a 'pretend' book cover, as a sample for my portfolio:


elizabeth said...

Oh my goodness, I remember that story. It was really the only scary story I could ever remember when I was little. Nice sketch to go with it!

Anonymous said...

omg! i remember reading this with one of my best friends in school and it scared the hell out of me!

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine told me this but her story had a red ribbon instead of green.

Anonymous said...,_Dark_Room_and_Other_Scary_Stories

That story scared me so badly as a kid that I didn't even want to look at the cover of the book.

The final line is "Jenny's head fell off".


I'm … gonna go … think about something else now.