|Willow's Magpie Tale No. 36|
Once upon a time,
In the land of wicked witches, pretty maidens, princes
And credulous peasants,
There stood a tower, impregnable, tall,
With sheer walls.
And one window,
Right at the top,
Just wide enough
For one skinny witch,
One snake-hipped but well-muscled Prince,
Said pretty maiden,
And said pretty maiden’s very thick, very golden braid.
The wicked witch, having tricked a pair of credulous peasants
Into parting with their infant daughter
For the sake of a root,
By the name of Rapunzel,
For which credulous peasant wife
Had developed a craving during pregnancy,
Proceeded to lock infant daughter,
Having become a teenager,
Into said impregnable tower.
Why she would do so, is anyone’s guess.
Mr. Grimm didn’t say.
Teenage daughter became pretty maiden,
(well she would, being locked up)
Much given to singing lustily,
Standing by the small window.
Mr. Grimm didn’t specify the song,
But it must have been melodious enough
To attract snake-hipped, well-muscled Prince,
Accidentally riding by said impregnable tower.
Hearing the siren song
And falling in love
Was but the work of a moment.
“Lean out of the window, Goldenhair,
I heard you singing a merry air”.
Being a pretty unprincipled maiden, she did.
(Having a man in your bedroom was
not the done thing in those far-off days)
Mr Grimm omitted to point this out.
Snake-hipped, well-muscled prince
Climbed the golden rope ladder with ease.
Pretty maiden’s maidenly blushes
Least said, soonest mended here, I think.
The impregnable tower was impregnable no more.
All Mr. Grimm will say in the matter is that,
After many months of ups and downs,
Pretty maiden’s waistband became tight with happiness.
Snake-hipped Prince realised
That the day had come for a decision.
Overcome the wicked witch,
Rescue pretty maiden,
Or make his adieus,
The course of true love having run its course.
The choice was his.
Prince was not called Prince for nothing,
Rescuing pretty maiden
By means of her own hair,
Which would once again be braided
And hooked up on the window catch,
Was his decision.
No sooner said then done.
Except, when it came to it,
Pretty maiden was no longer able
To slip through the window frame.
She squeezed and wriggled,
She held her breath,
She pulled and pushed.
He pulled and pushed.
She was stuck.
Mr. Grimm had no solution to the problem either.
Still snake-hipped and well-muscled Prince
As he slithered down.
He sighed again.
He sighed for a third time,
As he mounted his trusty steed which had been waiting
Patiently at the foot of the tower.
“You can’t win ‘em all”, he said to the horse.