by Ann McGovern
Once there was a man who fell in love with a beautiful girl. And before the next full moon rose in the sky, they were wed. To please her husband, the young wife wore a different gown each night. Sometimes she was dressed in yellow; other nights she wore red or blue or white. And she always wore a black velvet ribbon around her slender neck.
Day and night she wore that ribbon, and it was not long before her husband's curiosity got the better of him.
"Why do you always wear that ribbon?" he asked.
She smiled a strange smile and said not a word.
At last her husband got angry. And one night he shouted at his bride.
"Take that ribbon off! I'm tired of looking at it."
You will be sorry if I do," she replied, "so I won't." Every morning at breakfast, the husband ordered his wife to remove the black velvet ribbon from around her neck. Every night at dinner he told her the same thing.
But every morning at breakfast and every night at dinner, all his wife would say was, "You'll be sorry if I do. So I won't."
A week had passed. The husband no longer looked into his wife's eyes. He could only stare at that black velvet ribbon around her neck.
One night as his wife lay sleeping, he tiptoed to her sewing basket. He took out a pair of scissors.
Quickly and quietly, careful not to awaken her, he bent over his wife's bed and SNIP! went the scissors, and the velvet ribbon fell to the floor and SNAP! off came her head! It rolled over the floor in the moonlight, wailing tearfully: