Rapunzel - "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair"

A woman was expecting a child and she had a strong craving for the juicy green rapunzel (field salad) plant that grew in a garden behind her house. No-one dared enter this garden as it belonged to a witch. Yet, because his wife had asked him, at sunset her husband climbed over the wall and cut off a handful of rapunzel. It tasted so delicious that the woman wanted to eat it every day from then on.  

One evening the witch caught the man stealing the plant. When he told her about his pregnant wife and her craving for rapunzel, the witch allowed him to continue collecting the salad – but he was to give her the child in return. Straight after the birth, the witch collected the child and named her Rapunzel. When the girl was twelve years old she imprisoned her in a tower without any stairs or door. There was only a little window right at the top. When the witch wanted to visit her she would call out "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair". The girl would then loosen her wonderfully long hair that was as fine as spun gold. The witch would then climb up into the tower.

One day a prince rode by. He observed how the witch got up to the tower and wanted to try it out himself. "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair", he shouted – and, sure enough, the girl let her hair down. When the young man stood in front of her she was startled at first, but then she fell in love with him.

Soon the witch got to hear of this. She cut off Rapunzel's hair and sent her off into a lonely desert. When the witch told the prince that he would never see Rapunzel again he was so full of grief that he fell from the tower. He landed in a thorn bush where he lost his eyesight. In his blindness he wandered around in circles, desperately searching for Rapunzel. Years later he came to the desert where Rapunzel lived with the twins she had given birth to in the meantime. When Rapunzel saw the Prince, she embraced him and cried for joy. Two tears fell on his blind eyes – and suddenly he could see again. Now he led his family happily into his realm.

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