here once lived a man and his wife, who had long wished for a child, but in vain.
Now there was at the back of their house a little window which overlooked a beautiful garden full of the finest vegetables and flowers; but there was a high wall all round it, and no one ventured into it, for it belonged to a witch of great might, and of whom all the world was afraid.
"Oh" she answered, 'I shall die unless I can have some of that rampion to eat that grows in the garden at the back of our house." The man, who loved her very much, thought to himself:
""Rather than lose my wife I will get some rampion, cost what it will."
So in the twilight, he climbed over the wall into the witch's garden, plucked hastily a handful of rampion and brought it to his wife. She made a salad of it at once, and ate of it to her heart's content. But she liked it so much, and it tasted so good, that the next day she longed for it twice as much as she had done before; if she was to have any rest the man must climb over the wall once more. So he went in the twilight again; and as he was climbing back, he saw, all at once, the witch standing before him, and was terribly frightened, as she cried with angry eyes:
"How dare you climb over into my garden like a thief, and steal my rampion! It shall be the worse for you!"
"be merciful rather than just. I have only done it through necessity;
for my wife saw your rampion out of the window, and beame possessed
with so great a longing, that she would have died if she could not
have had some to eat." Then the witch said:
In his distress of mind the man promised everything; and when the time came when the child was born, the witch appeared, and, giving the child the name of Rapunzel (which is the same as rampion), she took it away with her.
Rapunzel was the most
beautiful child in the world. When she was twelve years old, the witch
shut her up in a tower in the midst of a wood, and it had neither
steps nor door, only a small window above. When the witch wished to
be let in, she would stand below and would cry:
long, beautiful hair that shone like gold. When she heard the voice
of the witch, she would undo the fastenings of the upper window, unbind
the plaits of her hair, and let it down twenty feet below, and the
witch would climb up by it.
Rapunzel, let down your hair."
Rapunzel, let down your hair!"
Rapunzel was greatly terrified when she saw that a man had come in
to her, for she had never seen one before; but the King's son began
speaking so kindly to her, and told how her singing had entered into
his heart, so that he could have no peace until he had seen her himself.
"Mother Gothel, how is it that you climb up
here so slowly, and the King's son is with me in a moment?"
"Aha! cried she, mocking him,
"You came for your darling, but the sweet bird sits no longer
in the nest, and sings no more; the cat has got her, and will scratch
out your eyes as well! Rapunzel is lost to you; you will see her no