The Women in the Trees

Informant: TH; Interviewer’s Sister

“Dude, okay do u remember when-” *interviewee adjusts in their seat* “when we would go camping and our uncle [REDACTED] would tell us that story about the white trees?”

Interviewer, in fact, did not remember.

*interviewee gasps and smiles before cracking their knuckles*

“So this is how he would tell it:

There was a man and a boy alone in the woods, just sitting and waiting. The man was a drunk and the boy was his son. One night they get into a screaming match, right? And they, like, separate for a bit. The boy takes a walk and the man stays at the campsite- I think that’s what happens?”

*interviewee pauses to think*

“Yeah, anyway. They go their separate ways, and like the boy is walking and the man is drinking. The boy is on his merry little way when he gets stopped by a woman in a white dress. And like most people would assume, the boy thought she was lost. And so he leads her back to their campsite. Mind you, this lady hasn’t spoken a single word. She’s like just following him back.

And they get back to the man who is working on another handle. And he goes white as a ghost-” *interviewee uses their hands to rub their face*

“White. Pale. Anyway. The man says to the boy ‘Why do you have that poor woman?’ and the boy is like mad confused. He’s all like ‘I’m not tryna argue with you’ and so on. The man starts screaming going ‘let her go! let her go!’ and at this point the boy is mad and confused so he turns to look at the woman and her head is missing. As soon as he starts screaming, he lets go of the headless body, and like a shoe falls from the sky. The two look up and lo and behold: a bunch of women hanging by the neck in the trees. The man and the boy were never heard from again.”

My Interpretation:

I think it was another way to teach a family lesson. At the time our uncle said told this to my sister and I, we were constantly bickering and fighting. We are close in age, so we were constantly at each other’s neck. In my opinion, I think the story is essentially: treat your family right or you’ll die in bad standing. It’s a weird way to go about it but it worked!