When his heart was still again he decided to follow his ears in the direction of the eerie tune. His feet led him through corridor after corridor and room after room of cruel-looking contraptions and stacks of boxes that were intriguingly labelled ‘blonde’, ‘brunette’ and ‘redhead’. Eventually, they all began to look the same. Panicking that he wouldn’t be able to find his way out before daybreak, he left through an open window.

The next day, he went about his business as usual, preparing the barge to move further down the canal, back into the city and civilisation. In daylight – it was a rare sunny day – he thought no more about the mysteries of the castle and the strange and beautiful song he heard there. He explored the surrounding area on foot, but found nowhere that caught his imagination. However, as night fell he heard the song from outside the castle this time, louder and more insistent on second hearing. He gingerly crept onto the bank and back through the same open window he had climbed through the night before.

This time, he noticed there was a covered walkway in between the building he was exploring and the castle next door, and used a rickety iron staircase to reach it, each footstep making a metallic clang as if in rhythm with his pounding heart. He saw there was a strange glow at the other end of the walkway and walked toward it.

He emerged in the furthest tower, and was greeted by the sight of a beautiful maiden with hair down to her knees, gleaming the colour of the terracotta bricks from which the castle was made. She was strangely pale and unblemished, as if she had been locked up in the tower all her life, and sat singing to herself by candlelight.

She was afraid of the man, and was about to call out, but he spoke to her, saying ‘Don’t be afraid’ and asked why she was sitting in dim light in the tower.

She had never seen a kind man before, only the factory owner and his clients, who kept her there in captivity as an incentive for her family to work harder. He asked if he might touch her beautiful red hair, and she was nervous but consented.

When she realised how gentle he was, she asked if he would return with help and rescue her from the tower and take her away with him. Since she did not have the preconceptions of folk learned in the wider world, she instinctively trusted him, and said she would let her hair down the side of the tower the following evening and he could climb up, thereby avoiding the roundabout route he had taken to get there.

She also did not know that in these stories the gallant rescuer is generally rich, royal and handsome, none of which could be said of the bargeman. However, the beautiful maiden, her mind finally at rest, fell asleep and the bargeman crept away to formulate plans for boating away to a place where they could never be found.

Pages: 1 2 3



One Response to “Rapunzel”

  1. May 07, 2009 at 9:54 am, Shirley Friedman said:

    Delightful story, though at first I thought it was an article disguised as a fairy story…or a twist on what happening in Corrie at present. Lol! Well done!


Leave a Reply




Via email: