Inspired by the Rapunzel Fairytale, Reem Al-Suwaidi shares with us her story for our Twisted Fairy Tales theme about the time before Rapunzel Ever Came To Be. Enjoy
“But husband, can you not spend what’s left of our money on that damned plant?” said the wife. Her stomach made a rumbling sound. “I need to be fed properly, or how will this child be healthy?” she continued.
Her husband took no notice of her, as he was too busy he eyeing the weed growing in Dame Gothel’s garden. “How I long for it,” he murmured wonderingly.
So at night when his wife was asleep, the husband sneaked out the door and straight to the old hag’s garden. Ever so quickly he grabbed a handful of weed and went back inside. The fool made no effort of checking if the witch was even there!
The next night, his addiction gnawed at him and again he went to fetch another handful of the plant to suppress his taste for it. As he bent over to get them the Dame, who was observing him the entire time, surprised him.
“Now that I know that my eyes have not deceived me, I shall cast a dark, binding spell that will haunt you and your peasant wife for the rest of your life!” she screeched, going for the wand that peeked out of her pocket.
“Please madam, I beg of you not to do such a thing!” cried the husband. “My wife is pregnant and I mustn’t spend the money on anything but food and water!”
“She is pregnant, you say?”
“Then I demand you give the child to me as soon as she is born!” she claimed, with a gleaming light in her eyes as she said so.
The husband bowed his head shamefully and ran back to his cottage. What was he going to say to his poor wife?
“Is he here yet?” asked the wife impatiently, caressing her bump.
“No, not yet,” answered the husband, as he stood by the door, waiting for the wizard that he called upon to arrive. He just might get the poor couple out of this mess.
After a while, the husband heard a knocking at the door. He opened it, but there was no one there! Suddenly, a figure appeared out of thin air. A tall, skinny man with golden hair wearing the queerest of clothing the husband had ever seen.
“Ah, so this is the man that has gotten himself in a down-right muddle with that witch,” he said, smiling.
“Come in,” the husband held the door open for the wizard.
“Speak of the devil,” said the wizard “where is she?”
“Right next door” answered the wife with clear enthusiasm. She obviously wanted him to get the whole situation over-with.
“Well, we have a lot of planning to do-“
“No plans at all dear sir!” exclaimed the wife “Get rid of her quickly or she’ll have my child!” She patted her baby bump.
“Fine, fine,” said the wizard “though I do expect my money to be ready when it’s all over.” He headed towards the Dame’s cottage.
“I hope you’ve got some money in your empty pockets or we’ll be damned!” scorned the wife at her husband.
“I’ve got none dear, but a plan I do!”
“Let’s hear it”
“We journey to a town farther than this one!”
“You make it sound so simple.”
“Well we’ve no other choice, let’s get moving before he catches up.” She got up and gathered most of her things, her stomach making noises all the while.
Frantically they scurried off, the husband covering their tracks with a broom.
As they hurried down the path the wife stopped and gasped. “Hurry up!” he called. “What is it?”
“The baby’s coming!”
Author: Reem Al-Suwaidi