“There was this story we were told as kids up in the mountains of Tennessee. I never heard her but apparently at night there was a spirit of a woman who would cry in front of a specific tree. She cried there because when running away from a predator, a cougar or something big, she and her two children tried to climb up that tree to get away, but her two kids fell off the tree and were killed by the cougar. The woman was devastated and committed suicide shortly thereafter. So, at night you can hear her weeping next to the tree where her children were killed. I never heard her but everyone knew about her.”
The informant is an elderly Caucasian woman born and raised in Tennessee. I asked the informant what she thought the story meant or was told, she responded that she feels the story is a way to warn people, specifically kids, of the dangers that exist within the woods.
This legend has similarities to another folklore legend found in Mexico known as LA LLORONA. They both have weeping women who weep for their lost children. I agree with the informant on the meaning or relevance of the legend. It is a way to warn children of the dangers found in the woods, especially at night.