Featured Fairy Tale: Note – While written by the Brothers Grimm, there are a couple different versions they wrote; I’ve included the alternates below, but stuck with the story we’re most familiar with.
Once upon a time a couple were expecting a baby. They lived next door to an enchantress who had a beautiful garden. One night the wife craved the rampion, or rapunzel, that grew in the enchantress’s garden and asked her husband to fetch her some. Not wanting to disappoint his wife, the husband climbed the garden wall and picked some of the rampion. The wife ate it and was happy. The next night, her craving for the rampion came back and she asked her husband to fetch her some again. Despite his hesitancy to steal a second time, the husband complied and climbed the wall. Before he could leave with the rampion he was caught by the enchantress. Pleading his case, the enchantress struck a bargain with the man: in exchange for all the rampion his wife wanted he would give the enchantress their child once it was born. The man, fearful of what would happen if he did not, agreed to the bargain.
When the child was born the enchantress took her and named her Rapunzel after the plant her mother had craved and her father had stolen. The enchantress took the child far away and raised Rapunzel as her own daughter. Rapunzel grew to be beautiful with long golden hair; the enchantress was fearful that someone would take Rapunzel away so she hid her in a tall tower with no stairs and no door. Each day the enchantress would come to visit Rapunzel and would call out “Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your hair.” Rapunzel would lower her long hair and the enchantress would climb up into the single tower room.
Years passed and Rapunzel grew more beautiful. One day a prince was riding through the forest and heard singing. Following the beautiful sound he discovered a single tower. Curious, he hid in the trees as a woman came to the tower and called out “Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your hair.” He watched as the woman climbed the golden hair hanging from a single window.
Hours later, after the enchantress had left, Rapunzel heard a familiar call. “Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your hair.” Thinking the enchantress had forgotten something, she lowered her hair. Through the window the prince climbed into the room, startling Rapunzel. They became acquainted and the prince left, promising to return the next day. After some time visiting Rapunzel, the prince asks her to marry him. She explains that her mother, the enchantress, keeps her prisoner in the tower and there is no way in or out save her hair. The prince promises that on every visit he will bring her a piece of silk that she is to use to weave a ladder. Rapunzel agrees.
The next day the enchantress visited the tower. When she had climbed Rapunzel’s hair, Rapunzel stated how much lighter she is than the prince.* Outraged, the enchantress cut off Rapunzel’s hair and cast her into the wilderness to fend for herself. That night the enchantress heard the prince call up. The enchantress lowered the cut hair. When the prince climbed through the window he is shocked to see the enchantress. He demanded to know where Rapunzel is. The enchantress tells him he will never see Rapunzel again and pushes him out the window.** The prince lands on a thorn bush, the thorns scratching his eyes.
Blinded, the prince searched months for Rapunzel through wastelands and wilderness. One day he hears singing and finds Rapunzel, who has given birth to twins, a boy and a girl. Reunited, Rapunzel’s tears of joy fall onto his eyes, curing his blindness. They return to his kingdom where they are married and live happily ever after.
*In some versions she makes the mistake of mentioning how tight her dress is getting, signaling she is pregnant.
**In some versions the prince jumps from the window out of fear of the enchantress.
Why I love it: Because it’s SCANDALOUS. Guys, what do you think is going on when the prince visits Rapunzel? They’re not playing cards! I remember watching the Faerie Tale Theatre version of this when I was a kid and could not understand why Rapunzel had babies at the end. Now… I get it. Also, beautiful hair, handsome prince, singing… what’s not to love?!
Side note: for YEARS I said the next fairy tale Disney would have to do would be Rapunzel because it was one of the only fairy tales they hadn’t done. Imagine my excitement when I found out they actually were doing Rapunzel (Tangled)!
Why you’ll love it: Rapunzel is a quirky kind of girl. I think you’d have to be if you’re locked in a tower by yourself. I also think this shows us some valuable lessons, namely a) don’t steal from your neighbors and b) a Lannister always pays his debts (wrong book but it works).
Awesome Retellings: There are some GREAT retellings of the Cinderella out there! Check these out!
- Review – The Cheap Reader
- Review – Alexa Loves Books
Did you review any of these retellings? Let me know and I’ll add your review link on here!