Is it a monster? Is it a plant? No, The Singing Tree is both!
We’re kicking off our first-ever Monster of The Week post with a fairly unusual choice: The Singing Tree. If you’re thinking “what a silly choice to start with,” then golly, we’ve lulled you into a sense of false expectation – much like this week’s botanical abomination.
Reminiscent of Randy Newman’s character the Singing Bush seen in the 80s classic The Three Amigos, they call it the singing tree because each one of its leaves emits a high pitched sound. If all leaves play together, they sound like a calming harmonic choir that’ll put even the most frenzied woodland critter to slumber. That is the point after all. But this sleep isn’t restful or kind. The Singing Tree relies on the blood of its victims to replenish itself. Similar to how the roots of a normal tree pull in nutrients and support microbes for decomposition, the Singing Tree just wants to include you in the circle of life by draining you of all your blood and nutrients. It plays calming lullaby to soothe its prey into napping beside it. If, for example, Mr. Squirrel (my OC for this post) were to take a nap by the singing tree, he’d become a raisin in no time as the tree drinks up all his juicy goodness and covers him in leaves. Despite its lack of sentience and inability to feel paranoia, the tree will still slowly coat a body in leaves to hide it from sight. This way future prey are not alerted by the sight of Mr. Squirrel’s untimely demise, preserving this beautiful tree’s friendly facade. Death is natural (even your character’s death), so the Singing Tree is not considered an inherently evil creature; it’s alignment falls under the neutral category.
The Singing Tree can be domesticated, but because it’s bloodthirsty (literally) the odds of it going feral run high. They tend to live in areas distant from civilization, and primarily thrive off of those hapless enough to stumble close. If kept hungry for extended periods of time, the Tree will stop at nothing to consume the nearest creature. Unfortunately, the Tree doesn’t have much in the way of defending itself if attacked. It dies like any normal tree if treated roughly.
One more fun anecdote worth mentioning is that Singing Trees cannot live in a pack, since they rely on chance encounters as their primary food source.
I can only imagine how different the film Three Amigos would’ve been if Randy Newman had been a Singing Tree. Perhaps a 2020s gritty reboot could be centered on this new concept!
Is there a monster that you’d like to see discussed in the next Monster Of The Week? Feel free to write us in the comments below!