• Pridie Tiernan

FAIRYTRAILS #2: Apple

Updated: Feb 24

Our second tree in this National Storytelling Week's outdoor storying challenge!


"Here’s to thee, old apple-tree,

Whence thou may’st bud, and whence thou may’st blow,

And whence thou may’st bear apples enow

Hats full! caps full!

Bushel-bushel-sacks full,

And my pockets full, too, huzza!”

The ancient rite of Wassailing



Welcome back to our 'Fairytrails' challenge! If you would like a quick outline of what this is all about, click here! If you're ready to go - let's do it!


Recognising the apple tree...

It's not an easy task to identify trees in winter but you can give it a good go with the following bits of information:

  • Apple trees are small to medium in size

  • Their bark is typically grey and has bumps, scales and ridges

  • Their leaves are oval, dark green and serrated along the edges - with the underneath being slightly woolly.

  • Flowers are white with hints of pink.

  • Use Flora Incognita or the Woodland Trust app to help you be certain that what you are looking at is, in fact, an apple tree!


When you pop out for your walk and finally find your apple tree, you might be interested to know:

  • It is believed that to ensure happiness in your relationship, you need to cut an apple in half and share it with your loved one.

  • Magicians like Merlin apparently carried a apple bough hung with bells and fruits in order to cross into the other worlds and to return to ours.

  • Unicorns are associated with the apple tree - they apparently love to snack on it!


Now's the time for a tale...

Click here to listen to the Bulgarian Folktale of 'The Nine Pea-Hens and Golden Apples' - an epic adventure tale, from the Andrew Lang fairytale collection and read by Pridie. (Folktale and fairytale lovers might like to think about how many recognisable motifs occur in this story!)

NB: Content warning: skulls are mentioned but the goodies win! You can read it here.


Another of our favourite stories that also features a golden apple is the Scandinavian fairytale East of the Sun, West of the Moon. Click here to watch me tell this tale!


Outdoor storying challenge #2:


OPTION 1: Visit your local apple tree and find out if you can climb as high as those pea-hens!

OPTION 2: Make an apple bird feeder. (click here for ideas and instructions).

OPTION 3: Make toffee apples! (Click here for recipe).


Bushcraft, podcasts and other things that might interest you...

  • Bushcraft tip: apple wood is great for cooking on - it burns slowly when it's dry and has a lovely smell, and try out our favourite baked apple recipe here!

  • Read up on the role of the apple tree in ancient mythology.

  • Check out more apple inspired stories on the Fairytalz website!


Happy outdoor storying y'all! Let us know how you get on!

Pridie, Elva & Adelind :)




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