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FAIRY TALES


Rapunzel
ManualiPc

Once upon a time there were a man and a woman who had long wished for a child. At length the woman became pregnant.
These people had a little window at the back of their house from which a splendid garden could be seen.
But 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, and had the greatest desire to eat some.
This desire increased every day, and as she knew that she could not get any of it, she quite pined away, and looked pale and miserable.
The man, who loved her, thought, "Sooner than let your wife die, bring her some of the rampion yourself, whatever it costs." So he did.
She ate the rampion with much relish. But she, however, liked it so much that the next day she longed for it three times as much as before.
Her husband must once more enter into the garden. But when he had clambered down the fence he was terribly afraid, for he saw the enchantress standing before him.
The man said: "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: "I will allow you to take away as much rampion as you wish, on one condition, you must give me the child which your wife will bring into the world".
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 beneath 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 at the top there was a little window.
When the enchantress wanted to go in, she placed herself beneath this, 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 some years, it came to pass that the King's son rode through the forest and went 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.
Once when he was standing behind a tree, he saw that an enchantress came there, and he heard how she cried: "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair".
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 will for once try my fortune" said the prince.
The next day when it began to grow dark, he went to the tower and cried, "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair".
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, she said yes.
Then she said: "Bring a skein of silk every time you come, and I will weave a ladder with it, and when it is ready I will descend, and you will take me on your horse".
The enchantress remarked nothing of this, until once Rapunzel said to her: "Tell me, 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".
The enchantress in her anger clutched Rapunzel's beautiful tresses, seized a pair of scissors with the right hand, and snip, snap, they were cut off.
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, however, that she cast out Rapunzel, the enchantress in the evening fastened the braids of hair which she had cut off to the hook of the window.
When the King's son came and cried: "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair". She let the hair down.
The prince ascended, he did not find Rapunzel above, but the enchantress.
"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".
And she pushed the prince down from the tower. The thorns into which he fell, pierced his eyes.
Thus he roamed for some years, wept over the loss of his dearest wife, and at length came to the desert where Rapunzel lived in wretchedness.
He heard a voice, and it seemed so familiar to him that he went towards it. 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 happily ever after.


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