~Part the Second~
But he did not remain faint for long. No, he jumped up, and thought, “Well! That’s a way to get atop the roof!” How clever he was! He waltzed up to the tower, but something happened when he got there; he couldn’t control it, for again he fainted. Then, he burned with manliness and he stood up. Bravely, very bravely, he spoke up:
“Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair to me, so that to you I may see.” He couldn’t remember if he got the words right, but then a small, delicate voice called out, “Just a minute!”
“Don’t faint, don’t faint!” the prince warned himself. Then, a braid of blond hair was slung out of the tower window.
Well, what did he do but hop up and grab the braid! It pulled him in a window. Then he realized he was standing in front of a beautiful young lady.
“AHHHHHHHH!!!” she screamed.
“AHHHHHHH!!!!” he screamed. She fainted.He fainted. It was very awkward.
And so he got up, and began to crawl on the floor, all the while muttering, “I’m just looking for the pipes, just looking for the pipes, ma’am, no harm doing.” She watched him in amazement. Truth be told, except for seeing her father long ago, she had never, ever seen a man before. The prince/plumber, who happened to be VERY short, crawled over to the other end of the bedroom, and grabbed a chest.
“Just to help me get back out that window,” he muttered.
The woman, who had recovered from the surprise, called out to the man before he left. “WAIT!” she screamed. “Yes?” he asked her, dropping from the window.
“What are you?”
“Er, um, I’m a plumber.”
“What? I mean, you look like a…man.”
He had planned to say, “Now lady, I’m just trying to find the pipes here!” but instead he plumped down on the chest to explain everything to her.
“Well, I am a man.”
“Oh, I don’t get out much!” she said.
“What a pity! Why don’t you?”
“I’m locked up here, you see.”
“Ummmm…” The prince looked around.
“That’s really terrible!” he said finally.
“Oh, I suppose. But I read a lot, and look a lot out of the window…I never see people except Orangette (she’s my guardian), but sometimes I see animals and things; sometimes I don’t see anything or anyone.”
“How can you stand it?” he asked, “What do you do?”
“Oh, well you know what I do then? I like to sing a lot. I sing to the flowers and the deer, even though they are usually too scared to come near the tower. Orangette has quite a temper, you know.”
No, he didn’t know. But at the thought, he sat up from the box.
“My lady,” he said, very slowly, “I’m just trying to find the pipes. My notion is that they’re on the roof; do you know anything about plumbing?”
“I might have a book about it,” she said, “I have a lot of books. Orangette gives me one every now in then. I usually read one book every day, and when I’m out of books to read, I read them all again. Let me check my box, I keep most of them in there.”
TO BE CONTINUED…