RAPUNZEL by Tom Guest
"Rapunzel" is a German fairy tale in the collection assembled by the Brothers Grimm, and first published in 1812 as part of Children's and Household Tales.
A lonely couple, who want a child, live next to a walled garden belonging to an evil witch named Dame Gothel. The wife, experiencing the cravings associated with the arrival of her long-awaited pregnancy, notices a Rapunzel plant (or, in most translated-to-English versions of the story, rampion), growing in the garden and longs for it, desperate to the point of death. One night, her husband breaks into the garden to get some for her. She makes a salad out of it and greedily eats it. It tastes so good that she longs for more. So her husband goes to get some for her a second time. As he scales the wall to return home, Dame Gothel catches him and accuses him of theft. He begs for mercy, and she agrees to be lenient, and allows him to take all he wants, on condition that the baby be given to her at birth. Desperate, he agrees. When the baby girl is born, Dame Gothel takes her to raise as her own and names her Rapunzel after the plant her mother craved. She grows up to be the most beautiful child in the world with long golden hair. When she reaches her twelfth year, Dame Gothel shuts her away in a tower in the middle of the woods, with neither stairs nor a door, and only one room and one window. When she visits her, she stands beneath the tower and calls out:
Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair, so that I may climb thy golden stair.
One day, a prince rides through the forest and hears Rapunzel singing from the tower. Entranced by her ethereal voice, he searches for her and discovers the tower, but is naturally unable to enter it. He returns often, listening to her beautiful singing, and one day sees Dame Gothel visit, and thus learns how to gain access to Rapunzel. When Dame Gothel leaves, he bids Rapunzel let her hair down. When she does so, he climbs up, makes her acquaintance, and eventually asks her to marry him. She agrees
Together they plan a means of escape, wherein he will come each night (thus avoiding the Dame Gothel who visits her by day), and bring Rapunzel a piece of silk, which she will gradually weave into a ladder. Before the plan can come to fruition, however, she foolishly gives the prince away. In the first edition of Grimm's Fairy Tales, she innocently says that her dress is getting tight around her waist (indicating pregnancy); in the second edition, she asks Dame Gothel (in a moment of forgetfulness) why it is easier for her to draw up the prince than her. In anger, she cuts off Rapunzel's hair and casts her out into the wilderness to fend for herself.
When the prince calls that night, Dame Gothel lets the severed hair down to haul him up. To his horror, he finds himself staring at her instead of Rapunzel, who is nowhere to be found. When she tells him in anger that he will never see Rapunzel again, she pushes him and he falls on the thorns, thus becoming blind.
For months, he wanders through the wastelands of the country and eventually comes to the wilderness where Rapunzel now lives with the twins she has given birth to, a boy and a girl. One day, as she sings, he hears her voice again, and they are reunited. When they fall into each other's arms, her tears immediately restore his sight. He leads her and their children to his kingdom, where they live happily ever after.
In some versions of the story, Rapunzel's hair magically grows back after the prince touches it.
Another version of the story ends with the revelation that Dame Gothel had untied Rapunzel's hair after the prince leapt from the tower, and it slipped from her hands and landed far below, leaving her trapped in the tower.
Adaptation by Tom Guest (Content provided from Wikipedia)