By Darren Lomas
Here follows a brief history of Rapunzel Pretzel, the girl who didn’t see a pair of scissors until she was twenty-three.
Rapunzel was born to the Pretzels, a simple couple who struggled to get by. Their farming business had taken a turn for the worse the day a dragon dry roasted their entire flock of sheep. Times were hard. Ironically, in another twenty years time, the Pretzels would make a multimillion dollar fortune by inventing a small savoury snack (the ‘Pretzel’) using the leftovers in their larder.
Aged one month, Rapunzel was given away as payment for two cabbages and a turnip. This was a decision her parents would come to regret, but they could go no longer without food and agreed to trade with the Witch who lived nearby. Had they thought it through properly, it would have dawned on them that they should have waited a month or two. By this time they could have traded Rapunzel at a much higher price. Say, a wheelbarrow full of cabbage. They would have to live with this.
The Witch could not have children of her own, due to the simple fact that nobody wanted to marry a Witch. Even adoption clinics and sperm banks were unable to help, as Witches are ineligible for such programmed.
In the Witch’s care Rapunzel grew up to become a healthy and fun-loving girl. The Witch grew weary of tidying up after Rapunzel, especially when her teenage years came along. Faced with no other options, the Witch had a tower built in the middle of a wood she owned. However, due to the plans drawn up by the Witch herself, the tower was not furnished with a door, stairs or any means of entrance or exit. This was quite a monumental mistake.
What had originally been an attempt to give Rapunzel a detached residence of her own had soon turned into a fiasco. The construction costs had made quite a dint in the Witch’s savings and she was faced with no other option but to hire a crane and have Rapunzel deposited in the room at the top of the tower. Unfortunately, this meant she could never leave. On the plus side, at least she had her own pad now.
The Witch vowed to have a staircase, or at least buy a ladder for Rapunzel once her funds permitted. In the meantime, she visited Rapunzel weekly and used a catapult to launch food and supplies to Rapunzel. This was not without its problems. On one occasion, Rapunzel was knocked unconscious by a bar of soap. Many more times, Rapunzel was hit square in the face with ripe fruit. Her ability to see the funny side began to wane after several years of this. The Witch’s fortune dwindled and her vegetable business floundered in competition with modern supermarkets. She could no longer compete and was forced into early retirement. Selling most of her estate, the Witch moved into far more modest housing. Her little bungalow was quite close to Rapunzel’s tower, so she didn’t have to walk a long way when making weekly deliveries.
Unbeknownst to the Witch, she was not the only visitor to Rapunzel’s high-rise forest apartment. One day, the Prince ‘Charming’ had been roaming the land in search of a dragon to slay. He came across the clearing where Rapunzel resided in her tower. Several moments later the Witch appeared. Hidden from view, the Prince watched as the Witch called out, ‘Rapunzel,’ and carried out her weekly deliveries. He was so taken with Rapunzel’s name and the radiant shimmer of her hair in the sunlight that he vowed to come back the next day. He hoped Rapunzel would no longer be concussed from the can of beans that had just floored her.
Returning the next day, the Prince came upon the tower once more.
‘Rapunzel, Rapunzel,’ he said, ‘let down your golden hair.’
‘Uh, who’s um- ‘
‘Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your goddamn hair.’
‘Huh? What- err,’ she said. ‘Mamma?’
‘No,’ said the Prince. ‘It is I.’
‘Oh. Hi Eye,’ said Rapunzel, thinking that was a strange name, but what did she know? Her mother was called Witch and she was called Rapunzel.
‘No, that’s not my name. I am the Prince. Do you not watch TV? Haven’t you seen me in magazines? I am the Prince.’
‘Oh? I’m not really sure.’
‘Shall I rescue you?’
‘Well, okay, I guess. I am kind a bored up here.’
‘Then let down your golden hair.’
‘I wouldn’t call it golden. Auburn, I think, is what Mamma calls it,’ she said, pushing huge strands of hair out of the window. ‘Okay, here goes.’
With that, the Prince grabbed an armful of Rapunzel’s long and partially matted hair and began his ascent. In a matter of minutes, the Prince had made his way up to Rapunzel’s room. Like a rat up a drainpipe. On reaching the windowsill, he all but slipped back down again. It was the shock of seeing her face close up. Not only had she cultivated a mane as long as her tower, but she had a twelve foot moustache. The Prince grabbed onto this in an attempt to steady himself. Once he had found his feet in Rapunzel’s room, he begged her to remove her moustache.
‘But Mamma has one,’ said Rapunzel.
‘Believe me, you’ll look a lot better without it.’
‘I’ll do it, but first get me outta here. Let’s go.’
The Prince was forced to admit that he had no way of exiting the tower, other than
the way he’d come in. He assumed there would be a door of some sort inside that he could break down. Who the hell built this place?
‘Look, Rapunzel, I’m going to go back to my Palace and get a ladder from one of the grounds men on the estate. I’ll also get a razor. Or maybe two,’ he added, looking at her legs.
‘So much for my knight in shining armour.’
‘I shall return, sweet Rapunzel.’
On that note, the Prince grabbed a handful of Rapunzel’s locks and jumped through the window. It was a brave move on his part, but it sent Rapunzel’s head crashing into the windowsill.
‘Hey, take it easy down there,’ she screeched. ‘You trying to scalp me?’
‘Yes, my dear, I will take care,’ he said, looking up and losing his balance. His feet scrabbled for a foothold as a clump of her hair came off in his hand.
‘You ass,’ muttered Rapunzel.
As the Prince rode off into the sunset, Rapunzel massaged her head. When she was done, she commenced plaiting her moustache.
Several years passed and the Prince was whisked from continent to continent, scarcely having time to stop and think of Rapunzel. His two wives, Cinderella and ‘Snow’ White were very demanding of his attention, and the only opportunities he got to search for Rapunzel were spent uselessly riding around forests. More often than not he would be in the wrong county, if not the wrong country. However, one day the Prince did come upon Rapunzel’s tower again. Following his double divorce, the Prince set out on a quest to ‘find himself’. He decided to go back to nature. He packed the essentials in his bag and followed the call of his heart. Whilst resting by a brook in the middle of a wood, the Prince pondered where he was. At that moment he heard the most beautiful sound he had ever heard. Sweeter than birds singing; angels in heaven could not have sung so sweetly. The Prince was captivated.
‘Ooh baby, baby. Ooh baby, baby. How was I supposed to know? That something’ wasn’t right here. Ooh pretty baby, I shouldn’t have let you go-‘ The Prince put down the baloney on rye-bread sandwich he’d just purchased from a friendly dwarf. He threw it down and ran towards the direction of the singing. This was regrettable, as there was a tree in between. Nevertheless, picking himself up from his collision with the tree, he ran to the tower and saw Rapunzel singing, ‘-Baby, One More Time.’ He craned his neck to see her more clearly; his heart skipped a beat.
The Prince busied himself chopping down a tree and fashioning a ladder from it.
Rapunzel watched in awe.
‘Why didn’t you try that before?’ she asked.
‘Ah, Rapunzel, my beauty, ask no more questions. I shall be with you in one moment, my sweet. Then we will have eternity together.’ ‘Klutz,’ she muttered to herself.
With his adequate carpentry abilities, the Prince completed the ladder. Three years after their initial meeting, he finally rescued Rapunzel from her existence in the tower. She truly was beautiful, underneath all that hair. When she’d shaved the Prince proposed to her and she accepted without hesitation. Well, she didn’t get out much, and he was a Prince. They lived happily ever after.