Putting heart into it


Reading the Apple Tree book it might not become entirely clear what the over all theme of the story is. It’s layered, open to interpretation, poetical diction, word-art, blah and all that. I wrote it much like the way I write song lyrics. However, writing the screenplay I soon discovered that I need to have the theme of the story clearly stated. Linguistic tricks are not going to help me here.

The Apple Tree movie is, as corny as it sounds, all about family. Bear with me now! The family-theme gives the story heart. A good story needs to have heart. Animation is all about putting a heart in, as is waking up the dead, right?

I never liked the in-your-face, fabricated heart in most Hollywood movies, especially not when I was a teen. I always wanted to cut it out with a rusty knife and eat it raw. But now I am a tad older and I must agree: a heartless story is not really much of a story.

You all know by now that the worms in this story form one big, growing family. Now here’s the scoop: The farmer and the vicar are brothers! Chew on that for a while.

Now here’s a fantastic song. It’s a spook story with a heart. Try not to cry.


I was driving down a lonely road on a dark and stormy night
When a little girl by the road side showed up in my head lights
I stopped and she got in the back and in a shaky tone
She said my name is Mary please won’t you take me home

She must have been so frightened all alone there in the night
There was something strange about her cause her face was deathly white
She sat so pale and quiet there in the back seat all alone
I never will forget that night I took Mary home

I pulled into the driveway where she told me to go
Got out to help her from the car and opened up the door
But I just could not believe my eyes the back seat was bare
I looked all around the car but Mary wasn’t there

A small light shown from the porch a woman opened up the door
I asked about the little girl that I was looking for
Then the lady gently smiled and brushed a tear away
She said it sure was nice of you to go out of your way

But thirteen years ago today in a wreck just down the road
Our darling Mary lost her life and we still miss her so
So thank you for your trouble and the kindness you have shown
You’re the thirteenth one who’s been here bringing Mary home
You’re the thirteenth one who’s been here bringing Mary home