Friday, April 18, 2014

P is for Pretty (and dead) in Pink

Today's letter is Pink, which could stand for Pink or Purple, but since I have already done shades of purple for Lilac and Heliotrope, I'm going to do Pink now. Not the singer, the color. Duh.

Honestly, there are not that many folktales about the color pink. One of the more entertaining ones I found is aptly titled Pink, and is a folktale (or more of an urban legend) from Florida. The story tells us about a woman who loves gardening and the color pink, and plants the entire garden full of pink flowers. The husband, feeling his masculinity threatened by the onslaught of pink, takes offense at her hobby, but despite repeated warnings, she keeps on gardening in pink. Eventually she even takes on a young man to help her with the garden chores. The husband, suspecting that the young gardener is cultivating more than just flowers, accuses her of cheating, and in a rage of passion he accidentally kills her. Scared at his crime, he buries the body under a bunch of pink flowers in the garden, and skips town. A few years later he returns, just to find out that the new owners of the house found the body and buried her in the local cemetery. Visiting the grave he finds it covered in pink flowers; the stress is too much for him, and he collapses dead. Legend says the grave is still there, completely covered in pink, except for the man-shaped empty space in the middle.

This story, apart from the entertaining use of the color pink, has a lot in common with the Lilac story I recounted earlier, and also a classic Grimm tale known as the Juniper Tree. The tale type is 720, cheerfully referred to as Mother Killed Me, Father Ate Me. It usually revolves around an unpunished murder within the family, and the soul of the dead returning in the shape of a plant or a bird to warn people of the injustice that happened to them.
I find it all kinds of fascinating that such an old story type (it exists in Greek mythology) is still alive and well, and was transplanted to the US as an urban legend.

For more pink, check out Andrew Lang's classic Pink Fairy Book.


  1. Somehow the story seems to go well with the feel of the colour pink, I don't know really why but it seems to work! Thanks for sharing such multicoloured stories :)

    Beauty Interprets, Expresses, Manifests the Eternal

  2. I was enchanted by this story. Great post! (Visiting from A-Z Challenge)

    My blog is at GenWestUK

  3. I've just found your blog so will be reading back over your other A to Z posts over the next few days.

    Loved the pink story!

    Eileen @
    (Also doing the A to Z Challenge)

  4. Lol at the point you made about the singer, Pink. Interesting sad urban legend. Why is it that so many stories have stupid men in them?

  5. I had no idea such stories ideas were a trope. That's very interesting, says something about the human condition.

  6. I would like to see the visual of that. Pink flowers surrounding the outline of his body. Excellent tale!

  7. Fascinating! I love the connections with other similar tales from other cultures.

    Fellow #TeamDamyanti
    Blogging from Alpha to Zulu in April

  8. Love the fact that here's a man-shaped hole in the middle of the pink flower bed - alive, or dead, he's having none of that pink :)
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  9. It's amazing how the tropes continue isn't it. That is such a great story about pink, and didn't the husband realise, real men wear pink? ;)
    Tasha's Thinkings - AtoZ (Vampires)
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  10. I once wrote a series of gothic stories about a family, and in one a woman locked in an attic jumped from the window into the garden, and the legend was that was why those roses bloomed red when all the rest were white. Love stories like that.

  11. That was a great story. Such an interesting post! We really enjoyed it. Visiting from A to Z Challenge at Learning at Cedar Ridge Academy and Cedar Ridge Academy

  12. The pink story is entertaining. Our current house was pink head to least 98% of it when we moved in. We painted and painted. Years later I was removing some of the old landscaping.........even the stone/brick blocks used for the basement were pink! I couldn't stand it, so painted them gray to match the house. Mrs. Eisenhower was a big pink person I understand.

    Traveling Suitcase A-Z

  13. Very tragic! And, that's not something I usually associate with the color pink! :)

  14. Why the colour pink seemed to threat his masculinity? I dislike how certain gender prejudices are formed. Great story!

  15. It's quite a stunning visual... in my mind's eye, I can see the mass of pink flowers and his body outline in the middle...

  16. Fantastic title! I like the idea that pink tied in to unsolved murder in the family. I hadn't heard this legend before. Cool share!

    Stopping by from the #atozchallenge !