A Story From: Germany
Read Time: ["3 to 5mins","6 to 10mins"]
For Ages: 5 to 7yrs., 8 to 10yrs.
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Plan to Escape
One day, the prince said, “If only you could get out of this tower. I can come and go by climbing up the walls by holding onto your braid. But once I am down, how can you get down, too?”
“I know!” said Rapunzel. “Bring me a ball of silk each time you come. I can weave the silk into a ladder. Silk folds up so small the witch won’t see it. When the ladder gets long enough to reach the ground, we will both be able to climb out of here.”
“That’s it!” said the prince. Then he moved closer to Rapunzel. “We will both be free. When we are out in the world, will you marry me?”
“Yes,” said Rapunzel, “I will.” Every day after that, the prince brought a ball of silk to Rapunzel. Over time, she weaved the silk into a long ladder.
On Rapunzel’s 18th birthday the witch spoke to her in a sharp voice. “Before you open your mouth this time,” said the witch, “know this. I am sick and tired of hearing you talk about how alone you are in the tower all the time. It isn’t go to change, Rapunzel! Forever!”
“And when the ladder is long enough, we will both be able to climb out of here.”
“Who says I’m alone in the room all the time?” said Rapunzel.
“What?!” said the witch. “Who has been up here with you?”
“No one!” said Rapunzel at once, in fear. “I mean, no one but you!”
The witch did not believe her. She started to look everywhere in the room for something to prove that someone else had been there. Soon she found the ladder. She held it high in the air. She yelled, “What is the meaning of this?”
“My friend the prince brought me the silk,” said Rapunzel.
“You will never see this prince again!” yelled the witch. She took out a knife. Snip, snap, and Rapunzel’s lovely braid was cut off!
Holding the braid in one hand, the witch laughed an evil laugh. With a stroke of her magic, Rapunzel was cast away to a far-away desert. Then the witch stayed in the tower room. She knew that soon the prince would come back.
The Last Climb
The witch did not have to wait long. Soon the prince was calling at the bottom of the tower, in a voice that was supposed to sound like her own, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!”
“So that is how he did it!” thought the witch. Holding tightly to one end of Rapunzel’s braid, she threw the braid out the window. The prince took hold and climbed up. When he got to the window, he was much surprised to see the witch!
“Where is Rapunzel?” he called out. “What have you done with her?”
“You will never see your Rapunzel again!” yelled the witch.
The witch pushed the prince so hard that he lost hold of the window. Down, down, he fell! The prince landed on some bushes below. That helped with the fall, but the bushes had sharp thorns. Some of the thorns went into his eyes. The prince was blind!
For two years the poor blind prince wandered the world, looking for Rapunzel. From morning to night he called for her, but it was no use. At last, he reached a desert. One day, he heard a beautiful voice singing. “Oh!” he thought. “I know that voice!” It was his dear Rapunzel! He went closer and closer to the voice he knew so well.
“My prince!” called Rapunzel when she saw him. The two of them hugged tight. Two tears of joy fell into the eyes of the prince. All at once, he could see again!
And what happened next, well, I’m sure you can guess! The prince and Rapunzel went back to the kingdom where the prince lived. They were married as soon as they could. The prince became king of the land and Rapunzel became queen. The two of them lived happily ever after.
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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