Rapunzel Story

The Story of Rapunzel, A Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale ~ Bedtime Story for Kids in English


This is the story of Rapunzel, a Classic Fairy Tale originally written by the Brothers Grimm in their book, The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales Collection. It was adapted &  is brought to you by Stories to Grow by


The Carpenter and His Wife  

ONCE UPON A TIME, there lived a carpenter and his wife.  More than anything, they wanted a child of their own.  At long last, their wish came true –  the wife was going to have a baby!   

From the second floor window of their small house, the wife could see into the garden next door.  Such fine fresh rows of plants and flowers there were!  But no one dared to go over the garden wall to see them up close. For the garden belonged to a witch!

One day the wife was looking down at the garden from her window.  How fresh-looking were those big green heads of lettuce! “It is just what I need to eat!” said the wife to her husband.  “You must go and get me some.”

“But we cannot!” said the carpenter.  “You know as well as I do that the garden belongs to the witch, who lives next door.”

“If I cannot have that lettuce,” said the wife, “I will not eat anything at all!”


“That lettuce looks so good!” said the wife.  “It is just what I need to eat.”


What could the carpenter do?  Late that night, he climbed over the garden wall. With very quiet steps, he took one green head of lettuce.  With more quiet steps, he went back over the garden wall.  His wife ate up the lettuce right away.  But eating the lettuce only made her want more! If she could not have more lettuce, she said, there was nothing she would eat at all! So the next night, the carpenter climbed back over the garden wall.  He picked up one more head of lettuce. All at once came a high, loud, voice.  

“STOP!  What do you think you are doing?”

“I…uh…am getting lettuce for my wife,” said the carpenter.


All at once came a high, loud voice.


“You thief!” yelled the witch.  “You will pay for this!”

“Please!” said the carpenter.  “My wife is going to have a baby.  She saw your lettuce and wanted it so very much.”

“Why should I care about that?” shouted the witch.

“I will do anything!” said the carpenter.  He thought, “Maybe I can build her something.”  

“You say you will do anything?” said the witch.

“Yes,” he said.


“You say you will do anything?” said the witch.


“Fine!” said the witch.  “Here’s the deal.  Go ahead – take all the lettuce you want.  Your wife will have a baby girl.  And when she does, the baby will be mine!”

“What?!” said the carpenter.  “I would never agree to that!”

“You already did!” said the witch.  And she laughed an evil laugh.


The Tower

Soon the wife had a baby girl, just as the witch had said.  To keep the baby safe from the witch, the carpenter built a tall tower deep in the woods.  He built stairs that led up to a room at the very top, a room with one window.  He and his wife took turns staying with the baby.  

But the witch had a magic ball.  The ball showed her just where the baby was, at the top room of the tower.  One day when the carpenter and his wife were both in the house, she cast a spell over both of them.  They fell into a deep, deep sleep.  And at once, the witch went to the tower.

At the top room, the witch said to the baby, “I will call you Rapunzel. For that is the name of the lettuce that brought you to me.  Now Rapunzel, you are mine!”

But the witch did not know how to take care of a baby.  Rapunzel grew into a child, and the witch did not even know how to cut her hair. The girl’s blond hair grew longer and longer every day.  All the witch could do was keep the child locked in the room at the very top of the tower.  She told the girl that the world was a very bad place.  That was why she could not leave the tower.


“Now Rapunzel, you are mine!”


As she grew up, many times Rapunzel said to the witch, “There is nothing here for me to do! Why must I stay in this tower all the time?”

And the witch shouted back, “I already told you so many times! The world is a very bad place.  Now go comb your hair and be quiet.”

“But is it really so bad out there?  Sometimes I hear people laughing down below,” Rapunzel would say sometimes.

At such times the witch would yell, “How many times do I have to repeat myself? Don’t listen to anything you see or hear out there.  The world is much worse than you think!  You will stay in this tower forever, Rapunzel.  So get used to it!”

On her 12th birthday, Rapunzel said to the witch, “I do not care what you say anymore!  I am so tired of staying here alone all the time! When you are gone, I will chip away at the door.  I will make a hole.  I will run down the stairs and outside, no matter what you say!”

“Think again!” said the witch.  With her power, she made all the stairs in the tower fall down.  She made the doors close up.  Now there was no way for Rapunzel to escape!


The Singing Voice

By then, Rapunzel’s hair had grown very, very long.  Once the stairs were gone, when it was time for the witch to visit her in the tower, she would call from outside, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel!  Let down your hair!”  Rapunzel would throw her long blond braid out of the window.  The witch would grab hold of her hair like a rope.  And that is how the witch climbed up the tower wall to the window in Rapunzel’s room.

Five more long years went by.  Poor Rapunzel!  She knew she must stay in the room.  All she could do was to sing sad songs out of the window.  Sometimes birds at the treetops would join in her songs.  Then she would feel a bit better.  But not much.


For hours, she sang sad songs out the window.


One day, a prince was riding through the woods.  He heard a beautiful singing voice.  Where was it coming from?  He rode closer and closer to the sound.  At last, he came to the tower.  

“This is odd!” he said, looking around the tower wall.  “There is no door at the bottom.  Yet someone is singing at the very top.  How does anyone get in or out of there?”   Each day, the prince came back to the tower.  There was something about that voice that pulled him back.  Who was that young woman singing at the top?  Could he ever meet her?

One day when the prince rode up, he saw an old woman standing below the tower.  He jumped behind a tree to hide.  It was a witch!  He heard her call out, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel!  Let down your hair!”  A long blond braid was thrown out from a window at the very top.  The old woman grabbed onto the braid.  And she climbed the wall to the window at the top of the tower.  

“Ah, ha!” said the prince.  “So that is how it is done!” He waited.  After a bit, the braid was thrown from the window again.  The witch climbed back down the tower wall.  Then she left.  

The prince waited.  He stepped up to the tower.  In a voice that sounded as much like the witch as he could, he called out, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel!  Let down your hair!” In a moment, the same long blond braid came out of the window.  “It worked!” thought the prince.  He climbed up the wall of the tower.


He heard the witch call out, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel!  Let down your hair!”


You can be sure that Rapunzel was very surprised to see the prince climb into her window. She had never seen a person up close before other than the witch, and never a man! “Who are you?” she said in fear.

“Do not worry!” said the prince. “I am a friend.”

“But I do not know you,” said Rapunzel.

“I feel as if I know you,” said the prince.  “I have heard you sing songs from up here day after day.  I love your voice!  And I love it when the birds sing with you, too.”

“Yes, I like that, too,” said Rapunzel.  “It may be the only thing I like, since I must stay here in this same old tower, day after day, my whole life long.” Rapunzel told the prince about the witch.  She told him that since the world was such a very bad place, she must always stay in the tower room.


“Do not worry,” said the prince.  “I am a friend.”


“But the world is not as bad as she says!” said the prince.  He told Rapunzel about flowers and festivals, games and gardens.  He told her about puppies and puddles, strawberries and secrets.

Many hours went by. At last, Rapunzel said he must go – the witch may come back at any time!   “Very well,” said the prince.  “But I will be back tomorrow.”  

Rapunzel threw her braid out the window, and the prince climbed down. The next day, the prince climbed back up to Rapunzel’s room.  He said, “I have a surprise for you.”  He had brought strawberries for her. 

As she tasted a strawberry Rapunzel thought, “Now I know that what I was told is not true.  The world can be a very fine place!  I must get out of this tower as soon as I can.”  But how?


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This story has been adapted from The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale. The Brothers Grimm story is an adaptation of the fairy tale Rapunzel by Friedrich Schulz published in 1790