Most little boys and girls are born bald; they are born as soft, glistening and beautiful. But this little girl, in particular, came out a little differently.
She was born with long golden hair that had become pinkish with bloody fluids and it was not at all pretty, it stuck to the girl’s tiny body in thick, tangled clumps.
Whilst the other boys and girls were perfect roses, she was more like a grotesque dandelion, sticky with warm blood. Her mother took one look at her and became instantly horrified.
She would not stop cursing and yelling until her husband finally snatched the thing away and left it alone in the moors.
Her hair was still clinging to her like a thin blanket when Gothel, the old woman of the tower, found her.
Not knowing what to name her, she simply called her Rapunzel, the name of a child she had long ago.
After twelve years of nursing, Gothel’s health began to decline.
Caring for a lively girl like Rapunzel had taken such a toll on her health that she felt that she could barely look after herself.
She took Rapunzel to her tower on the other side of the moors and locked her safely away.
When the poor girl began to cry she stroked her long hair which had not been cut since the day she was found and told her that one day when she’s a little older,
a charming young man would climb up her strong hair and take her to be his wife.
Wiping the tears from her face, Rapunzel accepted her fate and said one last goodbye to the one who had cared for her all her life.
In the coming months, Rapunzel would spend time educating herself about the various books around the tower.
She also spent a considerable amount of time grooming herself and her hair since she did not want the charming young man to think her dim or unkempt.
After a few years in the tower, she was starting to feel concerned that he wouldn’t show up.
She quickly brushed aside her paranoid fears and decided to throw her hair down, which by this time nearly went all the way down, to let the young man know she was there.
As the years go by she tries to remain cheery and optimistic but soon her grooming routines become shorter and she brushes her hair less often.
Eventually, she stops caring altogether and simply sits there all day with her hair hanging out of the window until the sun is replaced by the moon,
who silently mocks Rapunzel as she shamefully crawls back into bed, unsaved by her charming young man.
Now her hair is as long and thick as tree trunks and as matted as dead weeds. The once golden locks now reach all the way down and gather as a clump at the very bottom.
Her face is pale and unwashed, her teeth are black and her eyes are dead. She is now as she was then, hideous and unloved by anyone. She sits in her cold tower room, waiting for no-one.
Even if anyone did come, who would want her anyway?
Several more months pass and it is winter. The surrounding weather is finally matching the coldness within Rapunzel’s abandoned heart.
She sits and wonders what happened to Gothel and how she died, since she reasons that she must be dead by now.
Did she die all alone? Or was she comforted by some sweet carer? As she muses, she hears a breath that is too quick and desperate to be her own.
Before Rapunzel can take a look outside, she feels such a tremendous pull on her hair that she screams out in pain.
Feeling as though her tangled locks are about to be ripped off her head she pulls back with all her might, crying as she does so.
The pain becomes unbearable and thoughts of death begin to seem sweet. It does not last forever.
A hand appears and the pain stops. A figure pulls itself up and runs towards Rapunzel before her mind can comprehend it.
The figure then throws her arms around Rapunzel’s weakened body and weeps into her dirty hair, apologising profusely.
Finally letting go, the figure revealed herself to be a woman, as ragged and dirty as Rapunzel herself.
They spend a few moments staring at each other as Rapunzel tries to understand what has happened. She is surprised at herself for not being disappointed at the sight of this woman.
In fact, a part of her is relieved to see this stranger instead of the tremendously useless ‘charming young man’, though it is a part that she does not understand.
She told Rapunzel how she became lost after being abandoned by her parents who were too poor to look after her and how she had been wandering alone for so long until she came across
the rope of hair and climbed up in hope of companionship. Despite still being in pain Rapunzel began to weep with joy.
Without hesitation, she broke a glass over the table and used the shard to cut off her long hair. She suggested that they tie it to the window and climb down together.
Wandering out on the moors they had a short but happy life.
Through their mutual understanding of what it feels like to be alone they formed such a profound bound that certainly continued in their deaths.
They spent most of their days searching for food, water, and shelter but they still found time to laugh and smile.
They travelled the vast landscape together, hand in hand, believing that together they could overcome anything.
Later on, Rapunzel realised that she had, in fact, found her ‘charming young man’, in the form of a woman and with a heart tougher than the long rope of hair she had left behind so long ago.