Rapunzel

Read by Lisa DiSimone

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"Rapunzel" by The Brothers Grimm

Once upon a time there lived a man and a woman in a tiny cottage in the woods.
Behind their house was an enchanted garden with the most beautiful flowers, plants and vegetables.

The garden was surrounded by a high wall and no one dared to go in because it belonged to an evil witch.

The husband and wife's garden was small and the soil was rocky.
They were very poor and could barely grow enough food to eat.
Each day they longed to go into the enchanted garden to gather some food to eat.

One day the man could not stand it anymore and climbed over the wall and into the garden to gather some vegetables and fruits to bring back to his wife.
His wife loved it and so each day she sent her husband back into the enchanted garden to gather even more food to bring back to her.

But one day, when he climbed over the wall, he became very frightened.
The evil witch was standing there right in front of him.
"How dare you come into my enchanted garden and steal my food!" she said angrily.

The man's voice trembled, "I am sorry, but my wife and I were very hungry and saw that your garden had so much food to offer. My wife would have died if she did not have something to eat. Please, if you let me go, I promise not to take anymore."

The evil witch spoke in a nicer voice, "Ok, well if you are speaking the truth, then I will allow you to take all the food your wife and you can eat, but on one condition. When you have a child, you must give her to me. I will raise her like I were her mother and she will be very well taken care of."

The man was still terrified of the evil witch and since he knew his wife must have food to eat he agreed to give his first child to the witch.

A few years passed and the man and his wife had a baby girl.

They kept her hidden away in the cottage so that the evil witch did not see her and would not take her away.

The man and woman sang their baby daughter lullabies and read her stories.
They loved their girl very much.

The man and woman did not know that the evil witch could see them from her castle.

She watched them each day play with their daughter.

Finally one day the evil witch came to their cottage and knocked on the door.

"This little child belongs to me now!" the witch said in a snarling voice. "I shall now take her to live with me in my castle and I will name her Rapunzel."
Saddened, the man and his wife let the evil witch take their daughter away as the man had promised.

Years went by and Rapunzel was well taken care of as the evil witch said she would be.

She had grown up to become one of the most beautiful little girls ever seen.
Rapunzel had lovely long hair that was as golden as rays of sun and a fair complexion with eyes of blue that reflected the color of the sky.

Rapunzel loved to sing and remembered how her mother and father used to sing her lullabies.

She would often find herself with the tower window open singing to the birds that would fly by.

But when Rapunzel turned 12 years old, the evil witch locked her up in the top of a castle tower.

But this was no ordinary castle tower.

This tower had no door and no way to the top, only a small window that allowed Rapunzel to see the world outside.

Rapunzel was not allowed to tell anyone how to get into the tower.
When the witch wanted to go inside the tower, she cried out, "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your golden hair."

Then, the witch would climb up her hair and go inside the castle tower.
A few more years went by and Rapunzel continued to let her hair down to let the evil witch into the tower.

But one day when she was alone in the castle tower, a Prince rode by on a beautiful white horse and heard a radiant voice coming from the tower.
But when he tried to find the door to go inside to see Rapunzel, he could not find one.

Feeling sad that he could not speak to her, he rode home to his castle.
He thought of Rapunzel and her delightful singing voice everyday and went to listen to her sing every afternoon.

One day as he was resting against a tree outside of the castle tower, he saw the evil witch ride up and yell out to Rapunzel, "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your golden hair."

Curious, the Prince kept watching and saw Rapunzel let her long flowing hair down for the witch to climb up.

So, the very next day, the Prince went back to the castle tower and decided to call out to Rapunzel the same way the evil witch had. "Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your golden hair" he shouted.

Immediately Rapunzel let her hair fall down and the Prince climbed up her golden locks into the castle tower.

At first Rapunzel did not know what to say to the Prince as she only saw the witch each day.

But once he began to talk to her and tell her how much he loved her beautiful singing voice, she became very comfortable and told him of her life in the castle tower.

The Prince was in love and asked Rapunzel to marry him.

She liked the Prince very much and knew the Prince would care for her much more than the evil witch did and so she said yes.

Rapunzel and the Prince decided the best way for Rapunzel to get down from the tower was for the Prince to bring her a bit of silk thread everyday which she would weave into a ladder for her to climb down.

But one day as Rapunzel was weaving the ladder the witch came and yelled, "Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your golden hair."

When the evil witch came inside Rapunzel's room, she saw the ladder and became very angry. "You have betrayed me!" she said.

With that, the evil witch took a pair of scissors and cut off Rapunzel's lovely golden locks of hair.

The next day when the Prince came with more silk thread, the evil witch tricked him by throwing the hair out the window for him to climb up.

When he got inside the castle tower he did not see his darling Rapunzel but instead the evil witch.

"You will never see your Rapunzel again" the witch cackled. "I am taking her to a desert where you will never find her."

The Prince was so upset that he jumped out of the castle tower and fell onto some thorns which made him blind.

He feared the witch was telling the truth and that he had lost his darling Rapunzel forever.

Now blind, he stayed in the forest eating just roots and berries.
For years he stayed away from everyone.

But one day he walked and walked and stumbled upon a beautiful lake.
There he heard a beautiful voice he recognized as the sweet singing sounds of Rapunzel.

He walked towards the voice and it was indeed Rapunzel.

When she saw the Prince she recognized him instantly and fell over him weeping.

Two of her tears landed on the Prince's eyes and he could again see.
The Prince and Rapunzel hugged each other and went to the Prince's castle.
At that moment Rapunzel and the Prince knew they would live happily ever after... and they did.