Rapunzel: Part the First
There once was a man and woman who had long wished for a child, but in vain. At length however, she became with child. She and her husband had a little window at the back of their house, from which a beautiful garden could be seen which was filled with the most wonderful flowers and herbs.
However, the flowers belonged to an enchantress who had great power, and was much dreaded by all the world. One day, the woman was standing by the window, looking out into a garden, when she saw a bed of rampion (rapunzel), and it looked so fresh and green that she longed for it. She quite pined away, and began to look pale and miserable. Then, her husband was worried, and asked, “What ails you, dear wife?”
“Look, out there!” she said, pointing out the window. Her husband followed her hand, and saw the fresh rampion.
“So?” her husband asked her.
“I must have it!” his wife exclaimed, “or I’ll die, I know it!”
Well, thought the man, sooner than let my wife die, I will go and get the Rampion myself, cost what it will. I love her so!
And so that evening, when he was sure that the witch would be in bed, he crawled into her garden, planning on stealing the rampion for his wife. He hastily grabbed the rampion, and ran home to his wife.
“This will make a lovely salad!” she said. But once she had eaten the salad, she longed for more. “Look out the window at her garden,” the wife said.
“So?” asked her husband.
“I must have more, or I’ll die!” his wife exclaimed. The man loved his wife so much, that at night crawled back into the witch’s garden.
But as he pulled another handful, and was about to leave, the Wild Witch of Orange Hair caught him, and with her monstrous voice, screamed, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN MY GARDEN, EATING MY RAMPION?!”
“Please, ma’am,” said the husband, terrified, “I was only just tasting it; but it’s not for me, you see. My wife is with child, and every day she looks out from her window into your garden. She was pining away, she wanted your BEAUTIFUL rampion, so much, dear witch, and was wasting away because she couldn’t have it. Now nobody wants that to happen to their wife, eh? So I just sneaked –I mean, just thought, perhaps you would be neighborly enough (after all, we are neighbors) to let me have some of your rampion, before my wife, er. Well you see, she is very pushy, you know how, uh, well…”
The witch allowed her anger to be softened, and she said, “Well, if that’s the case, take as much rampion as you want. But only on one condition (you little thief!) The child your wife brings into the world will be MINE after childbirth.”
And being drunk with terror, the man agreed to everything, and told his wife about it after she ate the rampion salad.
“No, no, no!” screamed the wife, “what does she need a child for? She’s just a WITCH!!”
“Hush, hush dear!” hushed her husband, “She’ll kill us, our baby girl, AND the towns people if we don’t keep our promise. You should have heard how she raved!”
The parents wept, but to save their daughter’s life, they consented. The witch was ready, and they gave their daughter to her.
“I’ll call your Rapunzel!” murmured the witch, and off she went. However, Rapunzel grew so beautiful that the witch locked her up in a great, pink tower, not to be seen by anyone except her for ten long years.
Now, there once was a prince who was tired of the boring courtly life, and so he decided to prove himself a man while having some fun. And what is more manly than being a plumber? The prince thought. Concluding that nothing was, he borrowed a fine plumber’s suit, and ran away from the castle in disguise. And it happened one day that the Wild Witch of Orange Hair was experiencing some leaky pipes. So she went to the phone book, and saw the number of Bob the Plumber. She gave him a call, told Bob the directions, and Bob was on his way to the castle.
Only, there was a small problem. Bob the Plumber (known formally as Prince Bob) was not well-read on plumbing. He couldn’t decide whether one plants pipes on the roof of a castle, or at the bottom. “It would only be manly to have them on the roof,” he announced. But that created another problem: how to get on the roof. He searched for the best place to climb up, but had little success.
Then, as he turned the corner, he saw the witch calling up to a window in the tower. Out of curiosity, he stopped and watched.
“Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let your hair down to me, so that I may climb up it, and you I see.” It took the prince a few moments to figure out what the witch was REALLY saying, until he saw an amazing sight. A thick braid of blond locks were tossed out the window, and the witch grabbed onto them, and climbed up.
It was such a shock to him (especially that such a giant woman could fit into that tiny window!) that he fainted.
END OF PART 1
Stay tuned for part two!
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