Old Story of the Mulberry Tree

The marriage between the mulberry tree and love starts in this romantic yet tragic love story between Pyramus and Thisbe. Forbidden by their parents to wed because of the rivalry between families, they secretly arrange to meet under a mulberry tree to profess their undying love for each other. As Thisbe is the first to arrive she notices a bloody lioness from a recent kill and abruptly flees, leaving her veil behind. Pyramus arrives soon after, only to be horrified at the sight of the blood and Thisbe’s veil, thinking that a beast has taken her life. Pyramus then kills himself, falling on his own sword, and splashing blood on the white mulberry leaves. Pyramus’ blood stains the white mulberry fruits, turning them dark. Thisbe returns, eager to tell Pyramus what had happened to her, only to discover Pyramus’ dead body under the shade of the mulberry tree. Thisbe, after mourning her beloved, stabs herself with the same sword.

In the wake of this tragedy, the gods heed Thisbe’s lament, and forever change the color of the mulberry fruit to that stained color, honoring the couple’s forbidden love.