Rapunzel (The Way It Should Have Been) – Da Marsh
When I first took a peek at the Haircut Story Archive, I was amazed at how many stories there were. Before then, the only stuff that I’ve seen about headshaving was a couple of stories in Penthouse’s Forum, and the occasional piece about Michael Chapman’s Progressive Hair Club. While I was surprised by the number and variety of fiction devoted to women’s haircuts, headshaving and the like, the one thing that surprised me was that even though classic tales like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty were remade with the hair fetishist in mind, no one has ever sent in a remake of the one fairy tale made for the Archive: Rapunzel. Well folks, someone finally has. And now, with apologies to the Grimm Brothers, and without further ado, we fast forward the story to the first meeting between Rapunzel and the Prince….
The Prince, after hearing the sweet song coming from the top of the tower, and seeing how the old woman came down from the window, knew that he had to take a chance to find out who that girl with the nightingale’s voice and long golden braids was. He stood at the base of the tower, and cried in as good an impression of the old woman’s voice as he could, “Rapunzel! Rapunzel! Let down your hair!” As the braids fell towards him, he touched one of them. It felt like a rope made out of silk. As he held the braids and started to climb up the tower, he thought, “It feels like silk, but it’s as strong as leather.” As the Prince climbed to the top window, the grabbed hold of the sill and looked into the room, and both the Prince and Rapunzel were surprised.
The Prince, although intrigued by the song and the shining blonde hair, couldn’t believe the sight of the lady in front of him. The homespun dress looked out of place on her, with her creamy smooth skin, large azure eyes, and a face and figure over which the world’s finest artists would fight to recreate, but none would do justice. Rapunzel was even more surprised. She had heard of men before, but she had never seen one up close. As she gazed at the Prince as he climbed into the room, she thought, “They really ARE different. Their size, their smell, their clothes, everything is different about men. But somehow, this one looks attractive to me.”
Rapunzel finally had the courage to say, “Ar-are you a man?”
The Prince replied sincerely, for couldn’t say it otherwise while looking at her, “A man? Why, I’m more than just a man, I’m the Prince, the King’s son.”
When she said, “The King’s son?” her eyes looked even bigger.
“Yes,” said the Prince, “I was riding through the forest and I heard your lovely singing, so I had to find out where it came from. When I found out how to reach you, I had to see you for myself. It’s a shame that you’re kept up in this high tower. You should be at my side, in the castle, dressed in dazzling gowns and dancing in grand balls!” While the Prince went on and on, Rapunzel couldn’t help but smile at the compliments that he was raining down on her. Mother Goebel never said such sweet things to her! When she smiled, her pearl-like teeth adding to her beauty, the Prince was finally speechless.
She finally replied, “I’d love to go to the castle with you, but alas, I must stay here. As you have seen, my braids are the only way in or out of the tower. But I have an idea! You can visit me at night, since Mother Goebel, the old woman that you saw, visits by day. When you come, bring a long sturdy thread, so I can make a rope to break free from my captivity. Then, I can join you in the castle!” The Prince agreed, bid her adieu, and climbed down to his horse.
The next night, the Prince came back, as he promised. True to his word, he brought a long length of silken thread for her. The Prince told Rapunzel, “It’s a shame that this silk is going to be made into a rope. It should go into the gown you will wear at our first grand ball! We must practice our dance steps, so we can truly make the court gaze in awe at us!” He took her by the hand and started to dance with her, humming all the way. The look on Rapunzel’s face changed from surprise when they started to dance, to delight when she found out how much fun it was. A minute later, however, her face tensed up. The Prince saw this, stopped humming, and said, “Rapunzel, my sweet, what’s wrong?”
She replied, “We both got so carried away, we’re dancing on my hair.”
Stepping off Rapunzel’s braid, he apologized. “That’s all right,” she said as she blushed. “It happens every now and then. It seems that I spend my whole day on my hair – unbraiding it, washing it, drying it, rebraiding it – after every visit. Tell me, do the ladies of the court wear their hair as long as I do? If they do, then your balls must be quite a sight!” she grinned.
The Prince responded, “No, the longest hair I’ve ever seen on a lady was down to the small of her back. But you are as graceful as any of them, even more so, at least until one of us steps on your hair.” His last statement gave him an idea. He told her, “If you really want to find out how graceful you are, as well as to escape, wait for me tomorrow night.” The Prince kissed her full pink lips, and said, “Farewell, until tomorrow.”
At dusk the following day, Rapunzel was drying her hair. She heard the Prince cry, “Rapunzel! Rapunzel! Stand clear from the window!” She saw him twirling a rope with one end well-tied to a large rock, the other end tied to a strong tree. She instantly heeded his warning! He hurled the rock towards the window. It made a perfect arc when it sailed into her room. Unfortunately, when it landed, The Prince heard a slight “Ouch!” coming from the tower, so he climbed up the rope as fast as he could. When he got to the room, he asked, “Rapunzel! Are you alright?” Then he saw that the rock landed on the end of her unbraided mane.
She let out a shy smile and said, “I’m all right. I told you about my hair, didn’t I? You came earlier than I expected, but you also came with my freedom, so I don’t mind. Now it’s time to take this rock off my hair, so we can be together forever!”
The Prince put a large sack that he carried on her bed. He said, “But Rapunzel, darling, I’m not just going to free you from this tower, but also from having to wear your hair so long.” He took out a large pair of cloth shears from his bag. “After all,” he continued, “You don’t want to trip over your hair when we’re dancing, now do you?”
Rapunzel blushed and said, “I guess you’re right. Besides, I’d hate to get all this caught in the bushes and branches on our way to the castle!” The Prince told her to stand in front of the mirror.
When she got to the mirror, the Prince was quickly beside her. He ran his fingers through her silken golden mane, brushing it into one long thick straight line from the top of her head to the rock. He was soon at her feet, saying, “I’m going to start at the level of your ankles. When I’m finished cutting there, I’ll ask if you want it cut shorter.”
He opened up the shears. She closed her eyes. He held them to her hair, and snapped them shut. It took two more snaps for her tresses to be freed from the rock. While Rapunzel’s eyes were closed, she could feel the two long blades slicing through her mane, in fact it was the first time anyone had ever cut it. When the Prince finished, she felt a little lighter. When she opened her eyes, she couldn’t believe what she saw. Her hair, which was until a minute ago like a long train dragging behind her, was now like an ankle length cape, framing her exquisite figure.
Rapunzel said, “I had no idea you could cut hair like this! Last night, you said that the longest hair you ever saw was down to the small of the back, right? Please cut mine to that length.”
The Prince replied, “Of course, I do my own cutting and shaving. Why do you think I stay so charming?” Then the Prince went back to work, and more long blonde strands fell to the floor, revealing her nicely rounded hips.
With every snip of the shears, Rapunzel felt lighter, more free than she ever felt before. She said, “Instead of tripping over my hair, I can now dance all over the ballroom, even the whole kingdom if I wish! I wonder how it would look if it came down to my shoulders?”
The Prince responded, “Why, that’s only a few inches longer than I wear mine!” But one look at her narrow waist and her ripe bosom convinced him that even if she had his cut, no one would mistake Rapunzel for a man. So he put down the shears and took a regular-sized pair of scissors out of the bag.
The shorn, silky locks slowly trickled and tickled down her back. When he cut the last strand from her shoulders, he said, “Well, Rapunzel dear, what do you think?” She could not believe how beautiful she looked, and neither could the Prince. Her graceful neck now looked longer, more regal looking. Her eyes looked even bigger than before, more like twin lakes than pools. Now her features were revealed for all to see from under the golden tent that once covered them.
She finally replied, “Now my prince, I am TRULY free. Does any lady of the court wear their hair like I do?”
The Prince said, “Well, my Princess, I believe they all will, when they take their first look at you.” After he brushed the hair off her dress, he said, “Now let’s go to the castle! We can’t keep our fellow royalty waiting!” And so, they climbed down the rope and rode off into the castle.
When Mother Goebel returned to the tower the next morning, she was surprised by the sight of the rope dangling from the top window, shocked when she saw the plush golden carpet that once was Rapunzel’s hair all over the floor, and she was outraged that her prize possession had escaped from her clutches. Mother Goebel went looking for Rapunzel until she heard of the new Princess. When Mother Goebel heard tales of how beautiful the Prince’s new bride was, she knew that it was Rapunzel. She also knew that she was defeated, because while Mother Goebel was a powerful witch, the royal wizards were even more powerful, and they would defend the new royal couple with their lives.
And so, Mother Goebel went forth to find another victim. And the Prince and Princess Rapunzel? Her new hairstyle (which would be known centuries later as a “long bob”) was the talk of the court, as the Prince predicted, and while the ladies tried to copy it, none could compare, for one of the reasons why was that there was only one barber in the kingdom that could do it justice, and he, being the Prince, only cut Princess Rapunzel’s hair. And so, they lived, of course, happily ever after.
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