Rapunzel was bewitched before you were born, and has been living ever since with a Very Wicked Witch. She didn’t like this much, – most girls would rather not live with a wicked witch – but she had no choice. This is what happened: whenever Rapunzel went outside to run away, either there was a terrible storm, or the path turned into hot coals – so it was obvious that Rapunzel was going nowhere.
She was very useful to the Wicked Witch. There used to be a black cat, but the kittens were black and white, which was no good to the Wicked Witch. Eventually after a hundred years or so, the cat died. Then the Wicked Witch needed someone to help her, and there was no-one else but Rapunzel. Rapunzel did not want to help the Wicked Witch, as she did not want to be wicked, but she knew it was good to be helpful. It was clear that the cauldrons were getting too heavy for the Witch, and that she needed help to lift them and to work out all the spells and things.
One day after a lot of work with the cauldrons, at lunch time, the Wicked Witch put her elbows on the table, and said “I’m tired, and I’ve had enough of this, I shall retire. I only became a Wicked Witch because there weren’t any other jobs.” “Oh,” said Rapunzel, “what a good idea. I’ll help you anyway.” For apart from the spells against running away, the Wicked Witch had never been unkind to her. (And running away is not a good idea in a forest.)
So the Wicked Witch retired. She took a lot of trouble to make the path harmless: – it was the witch before her who made it malevolent. She put a large sign up at the bottom of the path saying “THIS WAY TO THE MUSEUM OF THE VERY WICKED WITCH, REDUCTIONS FOR FAMILIES.” She told the birds to fly off and sing to everyone, to let them know that she had retired. She put the snakes to hibernate for a thousand years, as they liked hibernating, and it was better that they should stay asleep and not bite anyone. The flowers began to bloom along the path, and people began to walk up and pay to see the Wicked Witch and Rapunzel in the Museum. A special offer was £1 for a spell to make your favourite cake in a jiffy, and this was very popular, so the Witch who was not wicked any more, and Rapunzel, had enough money to live on. After a few months of this, the Witch looked much better, and Rapunzel had become a very pretty girl.
They lived happily together for a very long time. Goodnight!
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