She had lived in a tower all her life. Her beautiful hair needed to be protected. She believed the lies she was told. She did not know the truth.
The prince had known Rapunzel for a while now, and the long silken rope, which they had been working on was almost complete.
“Just a few more days, my dearest, and you will be mine”, he whispered, as he slid down her beautiful long golden hair that night.
“I dream all day of the world outside”, she replied, “And I think of you every moment of the day, till you are back with me”. They smiled. They knew and loved each other, words were not enough, nor needed.
The slip of the tongue happened that night. She had been so full of thoughts of him.
The prince loves me. He is kind. He wants to set me free.
When the witch climbed up to her, she blurted, ”Why is it that you climb so much more slowly than the prince?”
“Oh wicked child,” the evil witch replied, “You have been deceiving me. You wretched and ungrateful creature! You can stay with me if you promise to never leave this tower and to never see him again.”
I love him. I want to be free.
In a rage she cut Rapunzel’s long golden hair, and made her climb down the tower. Then she took Rapunzel deep into the forest where no one would find her. “Here is where you will live,” said the witch, “Get what food you can find from the forest.”
No one will find you. No one will rescue you. You will be alone.
Rapunzel had never been alone in the forest before. Strange noises frightened her. She needed food to eat. She needed water to drink. She was too bewildered to think, too overwhelmed to feel.
He will come, he will find me.
Now that I’m ugly, and my hair is gone, will he still love me?
She found a patch of grass sheltered by a rock. Wrapping herself for warmth, she curled up to sleep exhausted.
Wherever you are right now, I will wait for you, till eternity.
You loved me. Your love was real.
She woke up hungry. She knew she had to live, she had hope. He would come. She dragged herself up and searched for berries and roots, she found a fresh water stream. She found a cave which looked safe and decided to stay there for a while.
In the meanwhile, the witch then went back to the tower and waited.
That night the prince came, with the silken cloth. “Just another few nights,” he thought to himself. He called for Rapunzel, in his own special way.
She knows my voice. She loves me. She will wait for me.
The hair came down and the prince climbed up.
“Aha!” shrieked the witch. “You have come for your dear Rapunzel. But the pretty bird has gone from her nest. She sings no more, and you will never see her again!”
And she pushed the prince out of the window.
In the evenings, she thought back on her life- the witch’s mood swings which she bore from the time she was young, the fear of being punished for something insignificant and the loneliness in the tower. She remembered the first time she had seen the prince, how good looking and charming he had been. She loved the way he treated her, with kindness and gentleness.
He loved me. He wanted to protect me.
He took control and made a plan to rescue her from the tower, she only had to agree. As the days went by, she thought of him almost obsessively. Her life revolved around his evening visits, the jokes they shared and the worlds he talked about. She confessed to him her feelings about the witch and her unhappy childhood. They had an intimacy which looked at the other’s eyes and understood completely. She closed her eyes and saw his smiling eyes.
He would come, yes, he would come.
The prince fell into some bushes full of thorns. The thorns scratched his eyes and he was blind. He picked up a branch with which to feel his way, and stumbled off into the forest.
He had to find her. She would be waiting.
Rapunzel learned how to search for food, catch fish and roast them over a small fire. She also knew where to find wild berries and the best apple trees. She kept herself busy and she had made friends.
A pair of lovebirds woke her up in the morning with their song. All they asked for were a few grains which she willingly shared. Towards afternoon, the grey fox visited, who wanted his share of fish, and the little bunny, always accompanied her on her search for berries. The other creatures of the forest soon were used to her, they instinctively trusted her. She had more company that she ever had in life.
But at times her eyes wandered, and settled between the clouds and the horizon. She would feel the intense love in those eyes, which she hadn’t seen in a while, but she knew deep down in her heart that he was searching for her and would find her.
She had hope. She had longing.
The prince stumbled and fell. It took him a while to hypothize what might have happened. He did not doubt her for a moment. But he had to find her.
For years the prince wandered through the forest, living on roots and berries, searching for Rapunzel. He had scars from the thorns that had scratched him, a shabby beard, his royal clothes unrecognizable.
Then, one day, he heard a voice singing. It was the same sad song he had heard many years ago. He went towards it.
His heartbeat quickened. Would she know me? Would she still love me, wretched and blind that I am?
As soon as Rapunzel saw the poor, blind, ragged man, she knew it was the prince.
He had come at last. Would he still love her?
She ran towards him, they met in an embrace, and wept for joy.
Nothing could separate us.
Her tears touched the prince’s eyes. He opened his eyes to behold love.
He led her by the hand and never let go.
The prince took Rapunzel back to his kingdom, where they were married and were very happy.
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 38-39
Picture credit- http://kabegami10.com