The slow suitor asked: "Elizabeth, would you like to have a puppy?" "Oh, Edward," the girl gushed, "how delightfully humble of you. Yes, dearest, I accept." ... Read more of Humility at Free Jokes.caInformational Site Network Informational
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Rapunzel

from Grimms' Fairy Tales





There were once a man and a woman who had long in vain wished for a
child. At length the woman hoped that God was about to grant her desire.
These people had a little window at the back of their house from which
a splendid garden could be seen, which was full of the most beautiful
flowers and herbs. It was, however, surrounded by a high wall, and no
one dared to go into it because it belonged to an enchantress, who had
great power and was dreaded by all the world. One day the woman was
standing by this window and looking down into the garden, when she saw a
bed which was planted with the most beautiful 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 alarmed, and
asked: 'What ails you, dear wife?' 'Ah,' she replied, 'if I can't eat
some of the rampion, which is in the garden behind our house, I shall
die.' The man, who loved her, thought: 'Sooner than let your wife die,
bring her some of the rampion yourself, let it cost what it will.'
At twilight, he clambered down over the wall into the garden of the
enchantress, hastily clutched a handful of rampion, and took it to his
wife. She at once made herself a salad of it, and ate it greedily. It
tasted so good to her--so very good, that the next day she longed for it
three times as much as before. If he was to have any rest, her husband
must once more descend into the garden. In the gloom of evening
therefore, he let himself down again; but when he had clambered down the
wall he was terribly afraid, for he saw the enchantress standing before
him. 'How can you dare,' said she with angry look, 'descend into my
garden and steal my rampion like a thief? You shall suffer for it!'
'Ah,' answered he, 'let mercy take the place of justice, I only made
up my mind to do it out of necessity. My wife saw your rampion from the
window, and felt such a longing for it that she would have died if she
had not got some to eat.' Then the enchantress allowed her anger to be
softened, and said to him: 'If the case be as you say, I will allow
you to take away with you as much rampion as you will, only I make one
condition, you must give me the child which your wife will bring into
the world; it shall be well treated, and I will care for it like a
mother.' The man in his terror consented to everything, and when the
woman was brought to bed, the enchantress appeared at once, gave the
child the name of Rapunzel, and took it away with her.

Rapunzel grew into the most beautiful child under the sun. When she was
twelve years old, the enchantress shut her into a tower, which lay in
a forest, and had neither stairs nor door, but quite at the top was a
little window. When the enchantress wanted to go in, she placed herself
beneath it and cried:

'Rapunzel, Rapunzel,
Let down your hair to me.'

Rapunzel had magnificent long hair, fine as spun gold, and when she
heard the voice of the enchantress she unfastened her braided tresses,
wound them round one of the hooks of the window above, and then the hair
fell twenty ells down, and the enchantress climbed up by it.

After a year or two, it came to pass that the king's son rode through
the forest and passed by the tower. Then he heard a song, which was so
charming that he stood still and listened. This was Rapunzel, who in her
solitude passed her time in letting her sweet voice resound. The king's
son wanted to climb up to her, and looked for the door of the tower,
but none was to be found. He rode home, but the singing had so deeply
touched his heart, that every day he went out into the forest and
listened to it. Once when he was thus standing behind a tree, he saw
that an enchantress came there, and he heard how she cried:

'Rapunzel, Rapunzel,
Let down your hair to me.'

Then Rapunzel let down the braids of her hair, and the enchantress
climbed up to her. 'If that is the ladder by which one mounts, I too
will try my fortune,' said he, and the next day when it began to grow
dark, he went to the tower and cried:

'Rapunzel, Rapunzel,
Let down your hair to me.'

Immediately the hair fell down and the king's son climbed up.

At first Rapunzel was terribly frightened when a man, such as her eyes
had never yet beheld, came to her; but the king's son began to talk to
her quite like a friend, and told her that his heart had been so stirred
that it had let him have no rest, and he had been forced to see her.
Then Rapunzel lost her fear, and when he asked her if she would take
him for her husband, and she saw that he was young and handsome, she
thought: 'He will love me more than old Dame Gothel does'; and she said
yes, and laid her hand in his. She said: 'I will willingly go away with
you, but I do not know how to get down. Bring with you a skein of silk
every time that you come, and I will weave a ladder with it, and when
that is ready I will descend, and you will take me on your horse.' They
agreed that until that time he should come to her every evening, for the
old woman came by day. The enchantress remarked nothing of this, until
once Rapunzel said to her: 'Tell me, Dame Gothel, how it happens that
you are so much heavier for me to draw up than the young king's son--he
is with me in a moment.' 'Ah! you wicked child,' cried the enchantress.
'What do I hear you say! I thought I had separated you from all
the world, and yet you have deceived me!' In her anger she clutched
Rapunzel's beautiful tresses, wrapped them twice round her left hand,
seized a pair of scissors with the right, and snip, snap, they were cut
off, and the lovely braids lay on the ground. And she was so pitiless
that she took poor Rapunzel into a desert where she had to live in great
grief and misery.

On the same day that she cast out Rapunzel, however, the enchantress
fastened the braids of hair, which she had cut off, to the hook of the
window, and when the king's son came and cried:

'Rapunzel, Rapunzel,
Let down your hair to me.'

she let the hair down. The king's son ascended, but instead of finding
his dearest Rapunzel, he found the enchantress, who gazed at him with
wicked and venomous looks. 'Aha!' she cried mockingly, 'you would fetch
your dearest, but the beautiful bird sits no longer singing in the nest;
the cat has got it, and will scratch out your eyes as well. Rapunzel is
lost to you; you will never see her again.' The king's son was beside
himself with pain, and in his despair he leapt down from the tower. He
escaped with his life, but the thorns into which he fell pierced his
eyes. Then he wandered quite blind about the forest, ate nothing but
roots and berries, and did naught but lament and weep over the loss of
his dearest wife. Thus he roamed about in misery for some years, and at
length came to the desert where Rapunzel, with the twins to which she
had given birth, a boy and a girl, lived in wretchedness. He heard a
voice, and it seemed so familiar to him that he went towards it, and
when he approached, Rapunzel knew him and fell on his neck and wept. Two
of her tears wetted his eyes and they grew clear again, and he could
see with them as before. He led her to his kingdom where he was
joyfully received, and they lived for a long time afterwards, happy and
contented.





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Previous: The Adventures Of Chanticleer And Partlet



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