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A Story for children age 4 to 6.
There were once a man and a woman who had long in vain wished for a
child. At length the woman hoped that God was about to grant her desire.
These people had a little window at the back of their house from which
a splendid garden could be seen, which was full of the most beautiful
flowers and herbs. It was, however, surrounded by a high wall, and no
one dared to go into it because it belonged to an enchantress, who had
great power and was dreaded by all the world. One day the woman was
standing by this window and looking down into the garden, when she saw a
bed which was planted with the most beautiful rampion , and it
looked so fresh and green that she longed for it, she quite pined away,
and began to look pale and miserable.
Then her husband was alarmed, and
asked: 'What ails you, dear wife?' 'Ah,' she replied, 'if I can't eat
some of the rampion, which is in the garden behind our house, I shall
die.' The man, who loved her, thought: 'Sooner than let your wife die,
bring her some of the rampion yourself, let it cost what it will.'
At twilight, he clambered down over the wall into the garden of the
enchantress, hastily clutched a handful of rampion, and took it to his
wife. She at once made herself a salad of it, and ate it greedily. It
tasted so good to her--so very good, that the next day she longed for it
three times as much as before. If he was to have any rest, her husband
must once more descend into the garden. In the gloom of evening
therefore, he let himself down again; but when he had clambered down the
wall he was terribly afraid, for he saw the enchantress standing before
'How can you dare,' said she with angry look, 'descend into my
garden and steal my rampion like a thief? You shall suffer for it!'
'Ah,' answered he, 'let mercy take the place of justice, I only made
up my mind to do it out of necessity. My wife saw your rampion from the
window, and felt such a longing for it that she would have died if she
had not got some to eat.' Then the enchantress allowed her anger to be
softened, and said to him: 'If the case be as you say, I will allow
you to take away with you as much rampion as you will, only I make one
condition, you must give me the child which your wife will bring into
the world; it shall be well treated, and I will care for it like a
mother.' The man in his terror consented to everything, and when the
woman was brought to bed, the enchantress appeared at once, gave the
child the name of Rapunzel, and took it away with her.