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She washed the corpse, propped it back on the hearth, and tied the severed head to the neck with a red ribbon. The blood she used to water the soil of the black walnut tree.

The murderess wakened her drunken husband. “That old woman is being difficult again,” the Wife complained. “She won’t eat, and she won’t talk. She’s your mama. You do something about it.”

The man staggered to his mother's side and shouted at her, “What’s wrong, Mama? Is the Devil after your soul?”
The Widow did not answer.
The man came nearer and shouted more loudly, “Just give up your damned old soul, Mama, so we can have some peace.”
The Widow did not answer.
The man came nearer and shouted in her ear, “Mama, there’s nothing more you can use to pay the Devil!” 

In a rage he grabbed the old woman’s shoulder and shook her. 
Plop! Crash! Off came her head and rolled into the fire.