Pyramus and Thisbe – The Tree
I am a White Mulberry tree wild and free in the woods. I have been around for more than 100 years and have many stories to tell. Generation upon generation I have seen them all. I have seen many things both happy and sad, but the one I have to tell is the most saddest of all.
I recall a young boy with a glowing smile who used to climb to the top of my branches. Once, the young lad climbed up to the very top and was amazed by the view. But he soon caught sight of something else far more spectacular. I could see he was mesmerised by a beautiful maiden with flowing long hair and baby bell blue eyes. It was as though Eros the God of love had his his arrow through his heart and the boy was now poisoned with the disease of love. He watched the young girl from my tree for many years but he knew that the world over the wall was forbidden to him but he couldn’t get this beautiful girl out of his head.
I later discovered that the girl was called Thisbe. From the top of my branches I could see how beautiful she looked running and dancing around in her garden merrily and joyfully. She too was told that the world beyond the wall was forbidden to her however her curiosity got the better of her. When she looked through the crack she saw a boy was looking back at her. It was as though fate had brought them together.
As time passed I watched them talk through the crack every day their faces enlightened every time they met, soon they grew a bond of the greatest love that I have ever witnessed. It was clear that their lives would be incomplete unless they were with each other.
One day I saw Thisbe with her face covered in a veil to hide her face. She looked anxious and nervous. I saw a lion in the distance and I rustled my branches and did all I could in my power to warn her. I saw the lion come closer and closer so I rustled my branches as loud as I could. Luckily she looked in the direction of the lion and ran quickly to a nearby rock.
As she ran her veil flew off and flew into the face of the lion. He ripped and bit the veil with his bloody teeth and claws. Then he left in the opposite direction while she was still hidden behind the rock.
Pyramus approached me and as he saw Thisbe’s veil ripped and covered in blood I heard his heart break in two. I saw the images in Pyramus’ eyes as he imagined a world without his beloved Thisbe. He was devastated and decided to take his life. H stabbed himself in his heart. I tried to stop him but he could not hear my branches rustle.
Thisbe finally felt safe enough to walk back to me, where she was supposed to meet Pyramus. She was absolutely distraught when she saw Pyramus’ lifeless body lying at my roots. She immediately took the knife and put it through her heart. I felt their blood flow into my roots. As the blood slipped into my roots they turned my white berries red. Their love was still so strong and I felt their spirits become one as they moved onto a world where they could be free. I am reminded every day of this sad tale when I look at my very red mulberries. Such a tragedy I have never seen or felt.

Pyramus and Thisbe

Stone etching by Lochlan

Pyramus and Thisbe
A girl named Thisbe and a boy named Pyramus,
Were soon to be like a baron and baroness.
But their parents detested each other so much,
They could not even share a single touch.

Between their gardens was a high-rise wall,
They could not see each other alone.
But in the wall lay a tiny crack,
To another, they spoke behind their parents’ backs.

Pyramus devised a wondrous plan,
“Let us forfeit this restrictive ban.”
“Woods. At midnight,” Thisbe replies.
“And wear your veil as a disguise.”

The crack in the wall they did kiss,
As they both let out a sigh of bliss.
They finally defeated their long wait,
Now they would have to face their fate.

At midnight Thisbe crept out of the house,
And sneaked away, silent as a mouse.
Admiring the white crescent moon fruits,
She sat on the mulberry tree’s gnarled roots.

Then a lioness with a golden mane,
Turned up there for a moment of fame.
Rich blood was drooling from her mouth,
And away ran Thisbe before she could pounce.

Starting with a tiptoe and then with a sprint,
Thisbe disappeared leaving all but one hint.
Whilst entering a cave her veil flew off,
The lioness found it – now a blood-stained cloth.

Moments later Pyramus entered the scene,
No culprit, no victim where they had been.
All that was left was a blood ridden veil,
No human remains of his beloved female.

Soon his face was a pale as could be,
“Oh why, oh why did this happen to me?”
Tears relentlessly flooded his eyes,
As he discovered an unfortunate surprise.

Spotting the footprints of a lioness,
His mind formed a theory, not a guess.
His sword he too swiftly thrust into his heart,
“Drink deep now, of my blood too,” he softly remarked.

Later, when Thisbe thought the lion had gone,
She left the cave to search for her loved one
Once Thisbe spotted her special sir,
“Are you asleep Pyramus,” she did whisper.

But now she was so very eyesore:
The knife, blood and veil on the forest floor.
Telling the mulberry tree not to forget,
Into her heart, his sword she did set.

Never forgot to this day the mulberry tree,
The day two people were finally free.
And from that day this wonderous plant
A garish blood red fruit shall grant!

Ink drawing by Themis

Diary Extract of Pyramus and Thisbe, by The Veil
As Pyramus dropped a pebble through the crack in the wall again, Thisbe rushed into her bedroom, trampling on me, in her angst to get to her beloved.
Anxiously I could hear, from down low on the ground, whispers of sweet nothings and their plans to meet up under the Mulberry Tree at the Tomb of Ninus that night. Heart-broken by her parents’ hate for Pyramus’ family. Thisbe was so excited to now be eloping she kissed Pyramus innocently through the wall, not knowing that this would be their last time. Lucky me, I was then collected and tossed delicately onto Thisbe’s soft, silky, smooth hair in preparation for this gathering with the boy of her dreams.
Finally, the time had come and, together, we crept out of Thisbe’s window. We arrived before Pyramus, who was clearly not a great time keeper; how dare he keep Thisbe waiting! When Thisbe turned, she almost made me fall off her dark locks. Suddenly, out of nowhere appeared a lioness with blood dripping from a previous kill. We froze! Before it had a chance to attack, Thisbe dashed away, escaping from the vicious creature.
“NOOOOOO!” I thought to myself as I fell off Thisbe’s head. The next thing I knew was that I was being smothered in blood and chewed up by the lioness. “Ouch!”
At last, Pyramus arrive, late as usual, and found me on the floor, all cut and stained with blood. Oh, how embarrassed I was. Looking at me and the lioness, he jumped to the conclusion that the animal had eaten Thisbe. The pain made him stab himself in the heart believing that he would find her in heaven. His blood bathed the white mulberries from the Mulberry Tree, making them a deep, red colour. Just after, Thisbe typically showed up and found her ‘Romeo’ dead.
“Mulberry Tree, oh Mulberry Tree, remember our unwanted true love,” Thisbe chanted as she fell onto her lover and grasped his sword to take her to her destined one.
Now, here I am, the only one half-alive, lying on the cold, wet floor, all dirty and destroyed. Alone and defenseless, I pleaded to the Gods that mulberries would always be the colour of Pyramus’ blood when ripe, in memory of the couple that were banned from seeing each other.


Drawing by Jared

Pyramus and Thisbe
Two forbidden lovers,
Pyramus and Thisbe;
A war raging between their families;
Never allowed to meet – ever.

They broke the law,
And found a way around it to meet,
Somewhere secret that no one but them knew,
On the border, in a clearing, by a mulberry tree,
A haven for them to meet.

Thisbe crept stealthily,
Like a ninja undercover,
Her face hidden by a veil,
Leaving no trace behind her.

She searched everywhere for Pyramus, 
Who was nowhere in sight.
From the knotted undergrowth,
A lioness sprang up, her jaws covered in blood.
Thisbe fled for her life,
Dropping her veil,
Running to a cave.
The lioness’ teeth pierced the veil,
Tearing it to pieces,
And she lurked back into her tangled undergrowth.

Pyramus saw Thisbe’s tainted veil,
And predicted the worst.
Incomplete without her,
He stabbed himself with his sword.

All too late, Thisbe returned,
Only to find her beloved close to death.
She took his sword,
And plunged it into her broken heart.

Their blood seeped into the ground,
Absorbed by the mulberry tree’s roots,
Changing forever the colour of mulberries.


Pyramus' sword

Model by William

Pyramus and Thisbe

Whispered in hushed tones through a crack in their wall, now filled up so they could no longer talk.
Secret lovers creeping around in the pitch-black night.
Silently waiting in the undergrowth, a lioness waiting to pounce.
Thisbe’s face covered by a veil waiting patiently by a weeping mulberry tree.
Lioness springs out, as swift as a cheetah, crimson blood on her golden jaws.
Running for her life, Thisbe drops her white veil, drifting to the ground, in moments it is ripped to pieces.
With Pyramus’s beloved nowhere to be seen, he draws his sword and stabs himself.
Too late to save the one she loves, Thisbe grabs the shining sword stabbing herself through the heart.
 Pyramus and Thisbe’s blood now stains the mulberries a dark purple colour reminding us all of this tragic night.