was going on, till one day Rapunzel, not thinking of what she was about, turned to the "Witch and said :
' How is it, good mother, that you are so much harder to pull up than the young Prince '? He is always with me in a moment.'
' Oh! you wicked child,' cried the Witch. ' What is this I hear ? I thought I had hidden you safely from the whole world, and in spite of it you have managed to deceive me.'
In her wrath she seized Rapunzel's beautiful hair, wound it round and round her left hand, and then grasping a pair of scissors in her right, snip snap, off it came, and the beautiful plaits lay on the ground. And, worse than this, she was so hard-hearted that she took Rapunzel to a lonely desert place, and there left her to live in loneliness and misery.
But on the evening of the day in which she had driven poor Rapunzel away, the Witch fastened the plaits on to a hook in the window, and when the Prince came and called out:
' Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let down your golden hair,'
she let them down, and the Prince climbed up as usual, but instead of his beloved Rapunzel he found the old Witch, who fixed her evil, glittering eyes on him, and cried mockingly :
' Ah, ah! you thought to find your lady love, but the pretty bird has flown and its song is dumb ; the cat caught it, and will scratch out your eyes too. Rapunzel is lost to you for ever—you will never see her more.'
The Prince was beside himself with grief, and in his despair he jumped right down from the tower, and, though he escaped with his life, the thorns among which he fell pierced his eyes out. Then he wandered, blind and miserable, through the wood, eating nothing but roots and berries, and weeping and lamenting the loss of his lovely bride. So he wandered about for some years, as wretched and unhappy as he could well be, and at last he came to the desert place where Rapunzel was living. Of a sudden he heard a voice which seemed strangely familiar to him. He walked eagerly in the direction of the sound, and when he was quite close, Rapunzel recognised him and fell on his neck and wept. But two of her tears touched his eyes, and in a moment they became quite clear again, and he saw as well as he had ever done. Then he led her to his kingdom, where they were received and welcomed with great joy, and they lived happily ever after.1