Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, version of Contesdefees.com, illustrations Arthur Rackham and others.
Once upon a time there was a couple who had long wished for a child. One day at last, their wish was granted and the woman became pregnant.
These people had at the back of their house, a small window from which they could see a splendid garden where grew the most beautiful flowers and especially magnificent raiponces; but it was surrounded by a high wall and no one ventured there because it belonged to a powerful magician that everyone feared.
Every day, the woman stood in front of the window and looked into the garden. The more she saw the brambles, the more the desire to eat them grew inside her.
She became so obsessed with these edible flowers that she began to wither, turn pale and look more and more miserable.
Then her husband got scared and asked her:
– What are you missing my dear wife?
– Alas,” she answered, “if I cannot eat of these raipberries from the garden behind our house, I think I shall die.”
The man who loved his wife thought:
– “Hey, will you let your wife die? Go and get her some raipberries whatever it may cost you.
When dusk arrived, he climbed the wall of the magician’s garden, quickly picked a handful of raipberries and brought them to his wife. She immediately made a salad of them and ate them greedily. She liked them so much that the next day she wanted them three times more. To calm her down, the man had to climb the garden wall again. He did it again at dusk. But as he climbed the wall he was suddenly frightened because he saw the magician standing before him.
– How dare you steal my braces like a robber? You will be punished! “she said angrily.
– Please,” he replied, “forgive me. I only did it out of necessity. My pregnant wife saw your brambles from our window and she craved them so much that she would have died if she could not eat them. The magician then dropped her wrath and said to her:
-“Take as much as you like, but your pain will not be changed: you will have to give me the child that your wife will give birth to. He will be well treated and I will take care of him like a mother.”
The man out of fear acquiesced to everything, and when after a few weeks his wife gave birth, immediately appeared the magician, who gave the name Rapunzel to the child and took it with her.
Rapunzel became the most beautiful child ever. When she was twelve years old, the magician locked her up in a tower in the middle of a forest, which had no stairs or doors; only a small window at the top opened.
The years passed.
When the magician wanted to enter, she stood at the bottom and shouted:
-“Rapunzel, Rapunzel, untie and throw your hair towards me! “.
Rapunzel had very long and beautiful hair, fine and spun like gold. She had never cut it. When the voice of the magician reached her, she untied her braids, passed them around a hook of the window and let them fall twenty feet lower. Thus, thanks to the immense hair, the magician could climb the tower.
The years passed slowly for Rapunzel, when one day, the son of the king who was riding through these woods came to pass by the tower. He heard a song that was so sweet that he stopped and listened. It was Rapunzel, who in her solitude passed the time singing and making her sweet voice resound. The king’s son wanted to go up to her and looked for a door, but he found none. So he went back home. But the song had so moved him that he went to the woods every day to listen to it. Once when he was standing under a tree, he saw the sorceress coming and he heard her call:
– “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, untie and throw to me your hair! “.
So Rapunzel let down her braids and the magician climbed up.
The prince having figured out how to reach the window waited for the witch to come down, then he walked towards the tower and called :
-Rapunzel, Rapunzel, untie and throw your hair towards me! “.
Immediately, the hair fell and the prince climbed the tower.
Rapunzel was at first quite frightened that a man would come to her when she had never seen one in her poor life as a recluse. However, the prince began to speak to her in a friendly manner and told her that his heart had been so deeply moved by her song that he could not help but return and risk his life for her.
He immediately asked her if she would become his wife and come with him to his parents’ castle.
Recovering from her fright and moved by the love and beauty of the prince, Rapunzel took his hand and accepted, saying:
– I want to come with you but I will not be able to go down. Go and get a piece of silk which I will make into a ladder and when it is ready, I will come down so that you can take me on your horse.”
The prince agreed and went down by the hair of his beloved.
The next day, when the witch went up, she immediately felt that a man had entered the tower and she cried out:
– Cursed child! I thought I had put you away from the world to keep you to myself forever but you betrayed me!
In her anger she grabbed Rapunzel’s hair, grabbed a pair of scissors with her right hand and in the blink of an eye cut the big blonde braids.
With an evil spell, she then sent Rapunzel to a distant desert land, where she had to live in deprivation and pain.
That evening, the magician hung the braids in the window and when the prince arrived and called:
-Rapunzel, Rapunzel, untie and throw your hair towards me! “.
She let the hair down. The prince went upstairs, but instead of his beloved Rapunzel, he saw the magician giving him a wicked and poisonous look.
– “Ahah! “she laughed “you come to look for your beloved, but the beautiful bird is no longer in the nest and no longer sings, the cat has taken it away and it is going to tear your eyes out. Rapunzel is lost to you, you will never see her again! ”
The prince felt the pain invade him and in despair, jumped out the window. He survived, but the thorns of the grove he fell into gouged out his eyes. He wandered blindly through the forest eating only roots and berries and constantly weeping for the loss of his beloved bride.
He wandered miserably for many years and finally reached the deserted land where Rapunzel was struggling to survive with the twins she had given birth to, a boy and a girl. He heard a voice, which sounded familiar. He approached and Rapunzel recognized him, she hung onto his neck and began to cry.
Two of her tears fell into his eyes and he recovered the sight he had lost.
He took her to his kingdom where they were welcomed with joy. They lived there happily and serenely for a long time.
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