Hukumusume fairy tale collection > Foreign language (English) > Classical stories of the world
イラスト 和穗かなた 運営サイト ここあ
(Grimm Fairy Tales)
|♪Reading in English
Japanese ←→ Japanese ＆ English ←→ English
Once upon a time, in a place far away there were a husband and wife who had no child.
The couple would pray to God every day.
”Please Oh Dear God, thank you God, bless us with a child anyway possible”
One day, the couple discovered that their prayers had been answered and that a baby was on its way.
”Oh Dear God, thank you Dear God, thank you!”
The wife soon began to show signs of her pregnancy as the baby in her stomach began to grow. They couldn’t wait for the baby to be born.
Well, situated next door to the couples house,was a beautiful house with large gardens.
The owner of the land was a witch by the name of Gothel.
Local villagers were so fearful of the witch that no one would dare venture near her house.
Evidently the witch noticed the wife’s stomach, and that she was pregnant.
When the witch went out into her garden, she decided she would use her magic to cast a spell on her lettuces.
”lettuces --tempt that woman who is pregnant. Make her truly desire to eat your delicious leaves”
Soon after casting her spell, a pale light poured out from the lettuces.
One day the wife, who was now becoming very big, happened to glance into the witch`s garden from her window.
The wife could see a beautiful garden full of flowers and vegetables. As soon as she caught sight of the lettuces, somehow her heart was stolen.
”Those lettuces, how delicious they look.”
How the wife desired to eat those lettuces.
But since they were grown by a witch, she could not possibly imagine what would happen if she ate them without permission.
”Its not worth it, since those are witch's lettuces.”
She told herself to have self restraint and swallowed her desires.
But the wife who was bewitched by the spell could think about no other food apart from those lettuces.
From that day on, the wife stopped eating and slowly got thinner and thinner.
The husband noticed this and asked the wife why.
”Why, oh why do you not eat my love?
In this house we have ample food and meat, yet you do not eat.
To eat nothing is bad for the baby and you.”
Then his wife answered shamefully.
”Well, in fact what I would really want to eat are lettuces.”
”Why would you want such a thing? If it is so, then I will go and buy you some.”
Straight away the husband rushed to town and bought his wife a mountain of lettuces.
However, his wife did not even touch them.
”They are different. The lettuces which I would surely like to eat are those lettuces.”
His wife pointed at the lettuces emitting the pale light which had attracted her in the witch`s garden.
”What! What are you talking about? Those are witch’s lettuces.”
”Yes, I understand, but I do so dearly want to eat them.”
If the wife was to continue not to eat ,then surely she and her baby would die.
”... I understand. Somehow I will get them for you.”
The husband had made up his mind. That night he snuck into the witch's yard.
He then proceeded to steal a leaf of lettuce from the garden and fed it to his wife.
Soon after eating the lettuce, the wife`s pale face turned back to its original rosy color.
”Oh! How delicious it is.”
From that day on, the husband crept into the witch's yard nightly, and stole a leaf of the lettuce.
But, one day, the witch caught the husband in the act of stealing one of the leaves from her lettuce.
The witch glared at the husband with terrifying eyes.
”So, it was you who was stealing my precious lettuces? ”Do you think I can let you live to return again!?”
The husband put his hands together and prayed for his life.
”Please forgive me!
Dear witch, it is only my wife who eats your lettuces.
If my wife does not eat them, then she and her baby will surely die.”
Thereupon the witch's attitude changed, and a smile came over her face.
”Is that so, what a pity that is.
If that is the case, then I will permit you to feed your wife as much lettuce as she desires.”
”Oh , oh, really? Thank you! ”
The husband was overjoyed to hear the witch`s words.
But, the witch’s smile soon turned into a grin.
”However, if your wife safely gives birth, then you will give the child to me.
I myself, will raise the child with affection, just like her real mother.”
”What?! Hhhh, how could I permit such a thing?
The child is our dream!
No matter how many lettuces I could recieve, I could never give away my child.”
”Is that so? Then I can’t give you any lettuces, can I.
Would you rather let your pregnant wife die from starvation?”
It seemed as if the wife and her baby would surely die.
The husband thought that, rather than to let both his wife and baby die, he would agree to the witch’s proposal and made a promise go give the baby away.
”... I understand. If I leave the situation as it is, then they will both surely die.
Ok, I will hand over my newborn child to you, but please, I beg you, give me some of your lettuces.”
”Oh, that’s good. You don’t have to worry about a thing.
I will raise your child properly.”
Before long, a pretty baby girl was born to the couple, but no sooner had she been born, than the witch came and took her away.
The witch named the baby Rapunzel, which was also the name of a wild lettuce.
Rapunzel grew up to be of beauty comparable to no other in the world.
When Rapunzel had reached the tender age of 12, the witch thought to herself.
”With such beauty , I’m sure one day my dearest Rapunzel will meet the evil glare of men’s passionate eyes.”
So, hidden deep within the woods, the witch built a high tower with no entrance nor stairs, and confined Rapunzel to the only room situated on the top.
”Fine, now only I can have Rapunzel.”
Since there was no entrance in this tower, even the witch couldn’t go inside.
Whenever the witch wanted to see Rapunzel, she would shout from the bottom of the tower in a loud voice.
”RAPUNZEL! RAPUNZEL! let down your golden hair! ”
Then, Rapunzel would let down her beautiful long hair which looked like a golden mane.
The witch would then climb up the long golden locks of Rapunzel’s hair, and meet her in her solitary room.
One day, on the third year of Rapunzel being locked away in her tower,
A royal prince of the country just so happened to be ridding by on his horse through the woods.
”I'm really troubled with my father,
Every time he sees my face he instructs me to get married as soon as possible.
Surely I am destined to meet someone, but there is no hurry at present.”
Since the prince’s father, the king, was always talking about marriage, he decided to escape for a while by taking a stroll in the woods.
As he passed through the woods his surroundings got darker.
”It is said that a witch lives in these woods so, I must take care”
Just then, from deep within the woods, the prince heard a beautiful singing voice, like an angel.
♪Lalalaー, lalalalaーー ♪Lalalaー, lalalalaー
”What a beautiful voice that is!”
The royal prince, turning to the sound of the singing, went deeper into the woods, whereupon he found a tower with no door where Rapunzel was imprisoned.
There, Rapunzel was singing like an angel, from the tower.
Instantly the prince's heart was stolen by her beauty and her singing.
”That maiden is surely a woman destined for me.”
The royal prince instantly fell in love with Rapunzel, and came to the bottom of the tower.
However, no matter how hard he tried ,he could not find an entrance to the tower.
”This tower must surely have been built by a witch.”
Just then, the witch came along with her usual delivery of food.
The royal prince quickly hid so that he might not be found by the witch.
The witch,who did not know about the prince in hiding, as always called up to Rapunzel high up in the tower.
"RAPUNZEL!! RAPUNZEL!! Let down your golden hair! "
When Rapunzel heard this she let down her woven locks of hair and the witch climbed up them to the top of the tower.
After seeing this, the prince waited for the witch to go home,? then went to the bottom of the tower and called out.
”RAPUNZEL!! RAPUNZEL!! Let down your golden hair! ”
As usual, Rapunzel let down her hair again from the top of the tower, then the prince took hold of the locks and climbed up to the top of the tower.
”Oh, grandmother, have you left something behind?”
To Rapunzel’s surprise, it was in fact the prince that had climbed up the tower.
”Who, who are you!?”
Up until then ,Rapunzel had only lived with her grandmother, so she had never see a man before.
The royal prince smiled at Rapunzel.
”Oh. I'm sorry to have startled you, but my heart was so charmed by your beautiful voice, that’s why I came.”
Although Rapunzel was alarmed by his appearance, she felt relieved seeing his kind smile.
Because the witch would always visit Rapunzel during midday, the prince from that day on started to meet her every night.
The prince taught Rapunzel many things,
Of how the country was very large and how many people lived there.
And that the world was still even bigger, spreading out to seas and mountains far off,
And of how, he, the royal prince lived in a castle and worked to serve his country.
To Rapunzel, who thought that the witch and the tower was all there was, the prince's stories were wonderfully charming.
While listening to his stories, Rapunzel thought how much she would like to see the world with her own eyes.
One day, the prince said to Rapunzel.
”Rapunzel, you are fond of me. Somehow, would you leave this tower and come and live with me in the castle?”
”Yes, I would like to go to the outside world together with you, but how do I leave this tower?”
Even though other people could use Rapunzel's hair to climb up and down from the tower, she herself could not.
The prince thought for a while then replied.
”Then, from this day on , each day I will bring you a little piece of silk thread.
With this thread you can make a ladder, and we can escape together.”
The very next day, the prince came to the tower with the silk thread, and Rapunzel started on weaving the ladder.
Now, in the tower there was no place where the silk thread could be hidden.
So Rapunzel decided to hide the silk ladder under her hair, where the witch couldn’t see it.
After a month a silk ladder, which could reach to the bottom of the tower, was completed.
Finally the day came when Rapunzel would escape from atop the tower.
That day, as usual, after lunch the witch stroked Rapunzel's beautiful long golden hair said.
”Whenever I look at your hair, it is always so beautiful.
You will always keep your hair long for me, won't you? ... OH?”
The witch had noticed something white mixed into her blond hair, while stroking it.
”What is this!? White hair is mixed up in your beautiful blond hair!”
The witch then discovered the white silk ladder that Rapunzel had been hiding under her hair.
With her terrifying eyes the witch glared at Rapunzel.
”What! A ladder hidden in your hair!
Did you somehow plan to escape from me?”
”I'm sorry, but I so want to know what the outside world is like.”
”The outside world!? Oh really. It seems you have fallen for an evil man.!
What’s this. With all the trouble I have taken to separate you from the outside world!
You forget of the debt you owe to me for raising you, and you try and escape from me? Oh, how you will suffer for what you have done.
You! You are no longer a daughter of mine!
Just as you wish then, I will cast you out to the outside world!!”
After saying this, she took out some large scissors and cut Rapunzel’s hair off as short as possible.
Then ,Rapunzel was dragged from the tower with nothing but the clothes on her back, to a wilderness somewhere at The end of the land.
Well, the unsuspecting prince that evening called up to the tower.
”Rapunzel, please climb down from your silk ladder.”
However, there was no reply from Rapunzel.
Instead of the silk ladder, Rapunzel's long hair was let down from the tower.
”Oh? Does she want me to climb up?”
The prince held onto the hair and began to climb up.
The prince came to discover that it wasn’t Rapunzel, but the witch that he was face to face with.
The witch glared at the prince, then laughed maliciously.
“Well oh well! When I thought of who it may be, I never thought it would be a prince?
It is regrettable, but your beloved dear has been thrown out into the wilderness somewhere at The end of the lands.”
”What! How could you do such a cruel thing to Rapunzel! ”
”Cruel? Who is cruel?!
You stole my precious daughter Rapunzel from me.
Since you are a prince, I will not kill you but punish you by taking your eyes from you.”
After saying so, the witch threw the prince out of the window where he landed in a bush of thorns.
The prickles of the thorns where he had been thrown pierced his eyes, and he could no longer see.
”Ah ha ha! Serves you right.
Even if you are to find Rapunzel again, you will never be able to see her without eyes.”
The witch then rushed off, laughing hysterically.
The prince could not see anymore, but he did not give up hope of seeing Rapunzel again.
”Rapunzel, wait for me. I will not fail in saving you.”
Then the prince stood up and headed off on a journey to the far wilderness at The end of the world to find his deserted Rapunzel.
The journey the prince took was hard.
The blind prince had to rely on roots of trees and grass for food, and drank drops of rain, while his body became covered with wounds.
He continued looking for Rapunzel without rest for many years.
”Rapunzel, my wife, I will save you.”
Then, one day the prince who could not see, heard a familiar singing voice.
♪ Lalalaー, lalalalaーー ♪ Lalalaー, lalalalaー
The beautiful voice was that of Rapunzel.
The prince faced where the voice was coming from and shouted at the top of his lungs.
”RAPUNZEL! Can that be you singing, Rapunzel!? ”
Then, Rapunzel, who was singing turned around.
”Oh, my prince!”
Rapunzel then jumped into the bosom of the prince.
He hugged her as tightly as he could.
”You have been safe after all this time?”
”Yes. I had faith that you would one day come and find me here, so I waited.”
”Oh? I'm so so sorry to be late.”
Tears of joy began to flow from the eyes of Rapunzel, and from the eyes of the blind prince.
“Even though I can no longer see your beauty…
just to be with you is more than enough. Now, let's return together.”
The tears which overflowed from the eyes of Rapunzel fell down and flowed into the eyes of the sightless prince.
At that moment, a flash of light came back into the prince's eyes and he was able to see again.
”I can see, I can see! I can now see your beauty again, clearly! ”
After that, the prince took Rapunzel back to his castle.
While the people of the country celebrated the wonderful news, the couple got married.
Rapunzel's true parents were also able to live at the castle together.
The prince, who was by now made king, lived happily together with Rapunzel and her parents.
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