ラプンツェル / グリム童話
There were once a man and a woman who wished for a child for a very long time.
The woman hoped that God was about to grant her wish.
They had a small window at the back of their house, from which they could see an incredible garden, with beautiful flowers and herbs.
However, a high wall surrounded the garden and no one dared to go into it.
It belonged to an enchantress, who had great power and was feared by others.
One day, the woman was standing by the window and looking down at the garden.
She saw a beautiful rampion planted in the garden.
It looked so fresh and green that she has the greatest desire to eat some.
This desire increased every day and as she thought that she could not get any of it, she looked pale and miserable.
Her husband, alarmed, asked her,
“What bothers you, my dear wife?”
“Ah” she replied. “If I can’t get some of the rampion in the garden, I shall die.”
The man, who loved his wife very much, thought,
“ For my wife to live longer, I will bring her some of the rampion myself and pay the cost.”
So that evening the man climbed down over the wall into the enchantress’ garden.
He grabbed a handful of the rampion and took it to his wife.
At once, she made herself a salad and ate it in a rush.
She liked it so much that by the next day, she wanted it three times as much as before.
She told her husband, if he wanted to have any rest, he must once more go into the garden.
So, that evening the man once again went into the garden.
However, when he reached the garden, he was horrified for he saw the enchantress standing before him.
“How dare you” she said with great anger, “ for you to come into my garden and steal my rampion like a thief? You shall suffer for it!”
“Ah” answered the man, “please forgive me,I only did it out of neccesity
my wife saw it through our window and had such a desire that she would have died if she had not got some to eat.”
The enchantress softened her voice and said,
“If that is the case, I will allow you to take away as much rampion as you want, with only one condition.
You must give me the child, which your wife will bring into the world. I will care for it like a mother.”
The man in his terror consented to everything, and when his wife gave birth, the enchantress appeared at once.
She named the child Rapunzel and took it away with her.
Rapulzel grew up to the most beautiful child. When she was twelve years old, the enchantress shut her into a tower, which was in the forest.
It didn’t have a door or stairs, only a small window at the top of the tower. When the enchantress wanted to go in, she stood beneath the window and cried
Let down your hair."
Rapunzel had magnificent long hair, fine as gold and when she heard the voice of the enchantress she would drop down her braided hair, and the enchantress climbed up.
After a year or two, the King’s son rode through the forest and went by the tower.
He heard a song, which was so charming that he stood still and listened.
Rapunzel, who passed her time alone by singing with her sweet voice, sang this.
The King’s son wanted to climb up to her so he looked for a door into the tower, which he could not find.
He rode home, but the singing had so deeply touched his heart, that every day he went out into the forest and listened to it.
Once, when he was standing behind a tree, he saw that an enchantress came there, and he heard how she cried,
Let down your hair."
Then Rapunzel let down the braids of her hair, and the enchantress climbed up to her.
“If that is how you climb the tower, I will try it myself.” said he, and the next day when it began to grow dark, he went to the tower and cried,
Let down your hair."
Immediately the hair fell down and the King's son climbed up.
At first Rapunzel was terribly frightened when a man she had never seen before, came to her;
but the King's son began to talk to her like a friend.
He told her that his heart had been so stirred that it had let him have no rest, and he had been forced to see her.
Then Rapunzel lost her fear, and when he asked her if she would take him for her husband,
she saw that he was young and handsome, she thought,
"He will love me more than old Dame Gothel does;" and she said yes, and laid her hand in his.
She said, "I will willingly go away with you, but I do not know how to get down.
Bring with you a bundle of silk every time you come, and I will make a ladder with it,
and when that is ready I will go down and you will take me on your horse."
They agreed that until that time he would come to her every evening, for the old woman came by day.
The enchantress remarked nothing of this, until once Rapunzel said to her,
"Tell me, Dame Gothel, how it happens that you are so much heavier for me to draw up than the young King's son who is with me a the moment.”
"Ah! You wicked child," cried the enchantress,
"What do I hear you say! I thought I had separated you from all the world, and yet you have deceived me!"
In her anger she clutched Rapunzel's beautiful hair, wrapped them twice around her left hand,
seized a pair of scissors with the right, and snip, snap, they were cut off, and the lovely braids lay on the ground.
And she was so out of pity that she took poor Rapunzel into a desert where she had to live in great grief and misery.
However, on the same day that she cast out Rapunzel, the enchantress in the evening fastened the braids of hair which she had cut off to the hook of the window,
and when the King's son came and cried,
Let down your hair,"
she let the hair down. The King's son climbed up, but he did not find his dearest Rapunzel above, but the enchantress,
who gazed at him with wicked and venomous looks.
"Aha!" she cried mockingly,
"You came for your dearest, but the beautiful bird does not sit in the nest any more.
The cat has got it, and will scratch out your eyes as well.
Rapunzel is lost and you will never see her again."
The King's son was crying to himself with pain, and in his despair he leapt down from the tower.
He escaped the tower alive but he fell on thorns, which pierced his eyes.
Then he wandered blind in the forest, ate only berries and roots and did nothing but cry over the loss of his wife.
He roamed in misery for some years, and at last came to the desert where Rapunzel lived with twins, a boy and a girl, which she had given birth.
He heard a voice, which seemed so familiar to him that he went toward it.
When he approached, Rapunzel recognized him and cried.
Her tears wet his eyes and he could see once more.
He led her to his kingdom where he was welcomed, and they lived happily ever after.
* Rapunzel, Campanula rapunculus (rampion), a congener of the common harebell. It has a long white spindle-shaped root which is eaten raw like a radish, and has a pleasant sweet flavour. Its leaves and young shoots are also used in salads and so are the roots, sliced. TR.
From Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Household Tales, trans. Margaret Hunt (London: George Bell, 1884)