Selfish Giant: A Read-Along Storybook

Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Part 1

A hair-raising fairy tale

The Story of Rapunzel

Kidoons Classic Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, a poor husband and wife lived in a little cottage in the garden of a big house. They were the gardeners, but they never saw the house's owner. One day the wife said to her husband, "Our dreams have come true: I am going to have a baby!"

Now when a woman is having a baby, she needs vitamins to help her baby grow. The husband and wife could not afford vegetables, but the garden they tended was bursting with them! The woman saw a delicious green herb called Rapunzel: today we call it sweet rampion, or corn salad, or mâche. The man knew stealing was wrong, but his wife was so hungry! So he picked some fresh rapunzel and made a salad for his wife. She ate it and felt wonderful!

Every night, the man would sneak into the garden and steal some Rapunzel to make a salad. One night he felt an icy cold wind. It was the owner of the house, and she was a goblin witch! "You are a thief," she croaked at him. "You would take from me? One day, I will take from you!" The man ran all the way home.

He didn't want to frighten his wife while she was expecting a baby, so he didn't tell her about the witch. Months later, the baby was born. She was healthy with rosy cheeks and a long lock of bright blonde hair. "Our baby is so fresh and healthy," the wife said, "that we will name her Rapunzel!"

Suddenly an icy cold wind blew into the cottage. It was the witch! She screeched "Now I will take from you!" She wrapped her bony claws around the baby, pulled it from the wife's hands. In the garden, tomato vines formed a glowing door. The witch went through it and vanished. She and the baby were gone.

In a hidden valley, the witch put Rapunzel into a granite tower surrounded by thorn bushes. The tower had no stairs – it was solid rock! In the room at the top of the tower, the little girl grew up. Rapunzel learned by reading. She was a smart cookie. But she had never been outside. She had never even had a haircut! Every year, Rapunzel grew older; and every year, her hair grew longer.

The witch's name was Hexenglass. She told Rapunzel a lie. She said that Rapunzel's parents were dead, and that she was the mother now. She smiled with her sharp little goblin teeth, and said, "You may call me Mommy."

Every week through the years, Hexenglass visited Rapunzel. To get up into the tower, she would say a rhyme.
"Rapunzel, Rapunzel,
Please let down your hair
And I'll climb up the tower
To see your face fair."
Rapunzel took her long yellow hair and twined it around the stone gargoyle on the window ledge. She lowered it down, and Hexenglass climbed up her hair.

In the hidden valley, Hexenglass actually had three towers: the tower of granite, a tower of marble, and a tower of sandstone. In the granite tower was Rapunzel. In the sandstone tower was a girl named Angiola. Angiola had been stolen because her parents could not pay rent to their landlord, who was, of course, the witch.

In the marble tower lived the third girl, who was named Xanthalousa. Xanthalousa's parents owned a cheese shop. She had been stolen only a month ago, because her parents accidentally short-changed the witch on some Gouda. Xanthalousa cried and cried. One day she heard a voice say, "Why are you crying?" It was a little green lizard on the wall, a gecko! The gecko said, "Tell me what's wrong", and she did. They became friends.

Angiola, the girl in the sandstone tower, was a bit older than Rapunzel, and had been stolen many years before. One day, a robin flew into the tower window and crashed into the wall. Angiola nursed its hurt wing. The robin said, "I will be your friend. I will tell you about the world outside." He winked, hopped to window, and flew away.

But Rapunzel had no one to talk to, because the gargoyle was just stone. She sang made-up songs to sing to keep herself company.

Meanwhile, Prince Markus was riding through the far reaches of his kingdom. He was searching for a knight and a bard who had been on their way to his palace, but gone missing. He rode all over looking for them, and one afternoon he heard beautiful singing coming from a tower. At the bottom of the tower, he saw a witch! He listened to the witch's rhyme, and saw her climb up a rope of bright yellow hair.

After the witch left, Prince Markus crept through the thorns to the tower. He called,
"Rapunzel, Rapunzel,
Please let down your hair
And I'll climb up the tower
To see your face fair."
He climbed up the bright yellow hair, wondering who would be at the top of it. He saw Rapunzel: they started talking and quickly became best friends. Every day that week, the prince would come back and climb up her hair; he talked and sang with her.

On the seventh day, Rapunzel awoke to not to the voice of the prince, but to the voice of the witch. Hexenglass climbed up into the tower and sniffed the air. "Something stinks in here", the witch said. "Flowers?! Who brought flowers? You are keeping a secret from me! Now I will keep something from you!" Hexenglass slashed her sharp claws and cut Rapunzel's hair from her head. Then the witch tied up Rapunzel with a piece of her own hair! Then the witch waited in the tower until she heard the voice of Prince Markus below.
"Rapunzel, Rapunzel,
Please let down your hair
And I'll climb up the tower
To see your face fair."
She lowered the rope of hair down. The prince climbed up, expecting to see Rapunzel, but instead he saw the witch! She pushed Prince Markus out the window! He fell all the way down and landed in a thorn bush. The witch climbed down and magically blindfolded him, so he couldn't see a thing.

Hexenglass shouted back up to Rapunzel, "Stay in that room tied up. No food, no drink, and no singing!" She led the prince into the woods. But the robin had seen everything! He flew to Angiola's window and told her. Angiola leapt into action. She took the scissors from her sewing bag, cut off her own black hair, and climbed down from her sandstone tower. The robin untied Angiola's hair from the window and flew it over to Xanthalousa's marble tower. Xanthalousa climbed down Angiola's hair to the ground below. The gecko crawled down the wall. Then they all ran to the granite tower, did the same thing, and rescued Rapunzel.

The three young women walked into the dark woods. The gecko stuck out his tongue. "I can smell the witch", he said, "but I'm too small to really track her." Then he whistled. From out of the bushes came a giant crocodile. It said, "My name is Sobek. My friend tells me the prince of our land is in trouble. Rapunzel, Angiola, Xanthalousa – jump on my back!" Sobek the crocodile ran with the three girls on his back. The robin flew above, and the gecko perched on his snout. As he ran, frogs chirped "This a-way! This a-way!" Finally the six friends came to a cliff over a river, and there they saw the witch. Hexenglass was holding out Rapunzel's hair to the blindfolded prince, and singing one of Rapunzel's songs. Prince Markus was following her, believing she was Rapunzel. She was about to lead him over the edge of the cliff!

Rapunzel cried out, "That's not me, it's Hexenglass! I'm over here!" The witch pulled the blindfolded prince towards the edge. Angiola ran up and grabbed her right arm. Xanthalousa grabbed her left arm. Then Sobek the crocodile leapt forward. He snapped her up in one bite, went over the cliff, and into the river below. He swam away.

Once the witch was eaten, her magic was undone. The blindfold dropped from the eyes of Prince Markus. He kissed Rapunzel. With a pop, the robin turned into the missing knight. "I am pleased we found you my prince," he said. "and I also found a woman I love." He held hands with Angiola. With another pop, the gecko turned into the bard. He said, "I have also found love," and held hands with Xanthalousa. There was no third pop: the crocodile stayed a crocodile because he had always been one.

Prince Markus led the friends back into town. As they passed the witch's big house, they saw a man and his wife in the garden. Rapunzel shouted, "My parents, you're alive," and rushed into their arms. Rapunzel and Prince Markus got married, and Rapunzel's father walked her down the aisle. It was a triple wedding! Angiola married the robin knight, who was named Cavallo. Xanthalousa married the gecko bard, who was named Epos. All six friends lived in the witch's big house together. Rapunzel's parents stayed in their little cottage in the herb garden, and Sobek the crocodile would swim up the river to visit them. They all lived happily ever after.
The End