“Rosie Like an Apple”, set in 1943, follows a young child called Rosie who has been sent off to live with her Grandpa, while her parents, a doctor and nurse head off to war.
Rosie is generally a bright and cheerful young girl. Helping her grandfather out in the apple orchard attached to the back of his small stone cottage, she spends her days happily, waiting for her parents to come home.
Unfortunately, they never do. One fateful day, a letter comes. Grandpa breaks the news to seven year old Rosie that her parents are never coming back.
Deeply saddened, Rosie disappears into the woods. Its a large, old forest with towering gnarled trees and all sorts of strange vegetation. It starts raining and Rosie takes shelter in the hollow of a nearby tree.
All curled up, in the dark Rosie thinks of her parents and cries.
In the dark, lights glow. One, then two. Then more and more.
Rosie glances up. A fairy is perched on her knee. It flies out into the wood, and Rosie follows. Rosie plays with the fairy folk and they lead her back home. She falls asleep, a fairy watching over her from outside her window.
The next day, she leaves early to go to play with the fairies. But they are not there. So she waits. Time marches on and twilight comes. With it, the arrival of the fairies from the large toadstool by the stream.
Determined, Rosie chases the fairy. They are fast but Rosie manages to get one stop long enough for it to hear her wish. But all things come with a price.
“Go to the apple orchard,” says the fairy. “And bring me the rosiest apple, from the highest branch of the tallest tree. Then I will grant your wish.”
So Rosie leaves to get the apple. The tree is much taller than Rosie expected. Determined, she begins to climb.
Finally, she reaches the topmost branches of the tree. There, a single apple hangs at the very end.
Rosie slips. Slowly, the apple grows further and further away from her outstretched hand.
Everything is so white. She hears voices. Familiar voices. A soft laugh.
“Rosie,” her dad calls.
“Rosie,” her mum calls.
“It’s all right, now, Rosie.”
She feels their hands and knows they are there. Rosie opens her eyes. She knows her parents are still with her.
She runs home to her grandfather, who has been worried as night has fallen. They hug and Rosie knows she is home again.
STATUS: WORK IN PROGRESS
“Rosie like an Apple” was intended to be completed as a stop motion piece. The set was made of paper mache, cardboard cylinders, and the ground of the forest was made of sewn together pieces of fabric in a patchwork quilt effect.
Originally, this was to be no more than a small university project, but it has become more than that. It is something I wish to complete on a larger scale.
As a result, there were a lot of setbacks in this project. The learning curve was steep, the project ambitious and the time limited. Much work was done and many hours poured into this little gem, but has yet to be completed.
One day, it will be.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.
Rosie Character Profile Notes
School: Cranberry Hill Primary
Likes: apples, exploring places, being Daddy’s little princess and mummy’s little girl
Dislikes: nettles, thorn bushes
Scared of: lightning, shadows on the wall at night
Grandpa Character Profile Notes
School: Silent Wood High School
Occupation: retired / apple orchard farmer
Likes: chess, cheese, apple pie, sitting by the fire, reading to Rosie
Dislikes: wasps, the “big city”
Rosie Like an Apple: Storyboard
The following storyboard was made in response to a university project brief which focused on creating and understanding the story subtext, the “moral of the story”. Here, the moral is that while loss hurts, it doesn’t hurt forever.
Follow Rosie through this rough, pencil-worked story as she overcomes grief with the help of a little fairy magic.