Everyone knows the story of Rapunzel. It’s not a new story, but who really knows the woman behind the legend. The answer is no one; no one cares about anything more than Rapunzel’s hair. No one understands her, except for me of course. I am her Godmother, no fairy wings or wand, just a regular mortal godmother. Well, truth be told I am Rapunzels real mother, however when the Witch stole her from me she let me be the Godmother because, well, nobody really liked her, I can’t imagine why with her stealing everyone’s children and all. Thus, being the only one she really knew, I was the natural choice.
I was a little bossy when I was pregnant, and perhaps should have asked before having my husband slip into our neighbors’ yard. Perhaps I should have paid more attention to the moat with alligators, or the trespassers will be hexed signs. But I really NEEDED those radishes. Ok, you try carrying a baby for nine months and then tell me how unreasonable I am! Where was I. We all know what happened next the Witch has more power than anyone else, so she can do whatever she wants yadda-yadda. She of course had no child of her own because she was always too busy with her magical career and whatnot. So WHAM, how about you take mine.
Well for the next 15 years she kept Rapunzel locked in that high tower of hers, of course we were invited for Christmas and Easters, but that was hardly enough time to see your own child. Oh well, the Witch; I suppose I should call her Latrinia, since that was in fact her name. I know, I know, what were her parents thinking, I don’t know. Well Latrinia was a little fanatical; she never cut Rapunzels hair, not once. So by the time she was fifteen it was about 300 feet long. It was a very beautiful color. Like a soft ripe apricot, it was a bright ginger, with the most beautiful natural waves. However it happened to be a little bit hygienically demanding. Rapunzel spent the entire day brushing it, and would retire for the night only to find in the morning that she had tangled it all up again. Then there was the problem of washing it. Latrinia had to bring a hose and water pump up in the tower to wash it with, and then the water would run out of little holes placed at floor level of the tower room and fill the moat. It took hours for all of the water to run out, after that they would have to wait an eternity for everything to dry. It was a very long process on the whole.
One day, while the Witch was in the next town buying extra conditioning shampoo from her favorite stylist Paulo Mitchelli, a handsome prince arrived outside her tower. You know handsome princes, so full of boundless energy and he was in fact thrice winner of the tower climbing championships. He skipped across the moat in the heads of the alligators and climbed easily to the tower window. When he peaked in and saw the princess with all her hair he got an idea.
He scrambled down the tower wall, and ran quickly to the Medieval Tribune. He had a friend who was a photographer there, His name was Jean. The prince rushed back to the tower, but now had a dilemma. How was he to reach the top with the photographer in tow? He sat down in the shade of a nearby thicket with his friend to think out the problem. It was not long before the witch returned and beckoned for Rapunzel to let down her hair. Jean and the Prince watched in amazement as the witch climbed a long braid of Rapunzels hair, and entered into the tower. Now they just had to wait until she left. It seemed like hours to the prince. It was not, but time keeping then was not what it is now. It was early afternoon when water began running down the sides of the tower, signalling the end of Rapunzels hair wash. Latrinia climbed back down and headed to her cottage nearby.
They decided to wait until all of the water ran down the tower sides before making their ascent. The prince barely glanced around before darting toward the tower. He mimicked the actions of the Witch and allowed his friend to climb her hair while he, secretly racing his friend, climbed up without aid. He made it to the top a few moments after Jean, grumbling and mumbling something about being at a disadvantage. Rapunzel was sitting next to a roaring fire, brushing the last of her hair dry. Jean gazed at Rapunzel and thought he had never seen anyone so beautiful before. However, being a professional he asked politely if he might have a picture of her for his paper, and an interview. She, thinking she had never met anyone quite as intriguing and intelligent as Jean; gladly obliged. In the meantime, the boisterous prince was bouncing off the furniture, attempting to reach the ceiling of her sky top tower. Dusk was setting in when they were just finishing their interview. Suddenly, they heard Latrinia beckon from below. Rapunzel quickly hid the two young men in lengths of her hair, and helped the Witch climb up. Latrinia at once spied the prince twitching among her hair. He fidgeted and squirmed like a child, until . . . “I CAN’T stand it anymore!” He shouted jumping up and brushing the hair away from himself. “There could be anything living in that stuff! It’s disgusting!” The witch bristled; she started waving her arms around in circles and mumbling strange things. The prince backed up towards the window, and fell out. “Well, that was certainly unexpected!” exclaimed the witch, “not at all what I had planned. I suppose it works though. Don’t you see, that’s why people cannot see you, they don’t understand!” Rapunzel was shocked, she ran to the window and peered out, but could see nothing in the darkening twilight. “You are horrible, he might be hurt! You should at least see how he is doing!” The witch started grumbling again, “Oh fine, I will check on him, but let that be a lesson to you. There will be no more visitors in the tower, they will only bring trouble. I will be back in the morning.” The witch left, and Jean waited a good ten minutes before he moved, secretly enjoying the smell of Rapunzels perfumed hair. He bade the princess farewell, and wished her a nice life.
The story was huge when it hit the presses. People journeyed from all kingdoms near and far, wanting to see the woman with such beautiful remarkable hair. They thronged her tower, and chanted for her to show her hair. At first she enjoyed the attention, she had never gotten any notice before. She spent her youth wrapped up in learning, solitary games, and reading. She might have been a world-famous ping-pong champ, if she ever played anyone else. Still, she never left the tower.
When the king found out about the witches role in the whole thing Latrinia was thrown in jail for attempting to hex royalty, kidnapping, and child endangerment; with a sentence from twenty to life. After which Jean would join Rapunzel quite frequently for tea in her tower. I know many of you will be asking about the prince, I wouldn’t be too worried about him. He escaped his fall with temporarily blindness and a fractured wrist, due to falling in a clump of bushes conveniently placed right below the window. However, the worst part for him was not being able to see himself, even for a month. You also will be surprised that in this story the prince does not marry the “princess”. He was a nice guy; however, he was just too shallow for someone like Rapunzel. He met and married Rapunzels little sister, Panza. She is now Panza Intended.
After a while however Rapunzel became tired of being known as the hair girl. She felt like a side-show, and not a person. She wished people would ask her opinions on classical literature, or politics, (she was ardently opposed to the feudal system, however no one was really disposed to discuss those issues, on penalty of death). So one day she decided she would do something really drastic. She called for her stylist, then cut her hair into a classy bob. She donated the rest to frocks of emotion, a non-profit charity that weaves clothing from hair; to donate to peasants. She left her tower and opened a school devoted to classical learning. Jean proposed and they had a bright wedding in early June. Together they worked to educate the medieval world. It might interest you to know that several great thinkers of the renaissance from Da Vinci, to Michelangelo attended her school. You might even say that she was the real foundation of the Italian renaissance. However, I am her Godmother and might be more than a little biased on that point.
Disclaimer, Rapunzel did not actually exist, nor did she in reality teach da Vinci or Michelangelo. However, If your children want to learn more about Leonardo da Vinci this is wonderful resource! http://www.mos.org/leonardo/
I do not advocate attempting to climb towers, jump across alligator filled moats, or falling out of towers, as you most likely will not survive.