As the months passed, it became evident that Rapunzel was expecting a child. The anger that had caused me to react so drastically as to cut her hair, threatened to consume me again. I blamed myself for not teaching her better and I blamed the prince too.
I decided to confront him. I wouldn’t tell Rapunzel about it and I disguised myself in a veil because I was going to our old village and didn’t want to be recognized, even though it was 15 years later and perhaps no one was looking for us anyway.
I traded a gold ring that had been my mother’s to Tavish for a basket filled with eggs. He recognized me of course and wanted to gossip but I didn’t have time. I needed to get into the castle and I needed the basket in order to play the part of a servant delivering eggs.
I slipped inside the castle gates, allowed in by two sleepy looking men who were chatting lazily and not alert in their duties.
Once inside I slipped through the passageways and ducked into corners every time I saw someone coming. I had never been in the castle but it was not difficult to figure out which way to the royal family. I heard voices and hid behind a parapet. Peeking around the side briefly, I realized it was the prince. He was with a young lady and she was giggling. Then they were kissing and I felt a mixture of nausea and barely contained wrath to be witness to such behavior.
My sweet Rapunzel was carrying his child and there he was acting like that. I stole one more glance and realized it was a servant girl he was kissing. Finally I saw my chance and crept back down the hall. I turned into a passageway that led to the kitchen. I heard servants there mentioning the prince so I slowed my pace to listen. They were talking about his marriage last spring to a princess from a neighboring kingdom! I was so stunned I pressed my back against the wall and had to stay that way before I could gather my wits about me enough to flee. He was married!?
I took a long walk in the woods before I had calmed down enough to return to our tower. I had hoped to speak to the prince; to convince him to marry Rapunzel. I could see now there was no hope for any sort of marriage or help from the prince. My only consolation was that I’d manage to hang onto the basket of eggs through it all. We could use them.
Over that long winter we stayed cozy in our tower. I had saved enough root vegetables and squashes to keep us fed. Rapunzel’s beautiful voice cheered us through the evenings while she sang her songs and I would brush her short hair and tell her tales about the lovely cottage I was going to buy for us in the spring. We decided that we’d tell people Rapunzel’s husband had died. Rapunzel never mentioned him but I could tell she still thought about the prince but I didn’t tell her the truth about him. I didn’t know how. As spring arrived, she and I both seemed to have an ear alert for any visitors to our wood.
I kept busy cleaning and deciding what to take to the village and packing our belongings and Rapunzel sewed tiny clothes and knit little stockings and hats for her baby. I had already taken a few trips to our new cottage. Each time I left her, I cautioned Rapunzel not to let anyone visit her. She’d eye the strong rope we used for a ladder and also the coiled braid that sat in the corner—somehow neither of us had been able to part with it—but she’d tell me she’d obey.
Find out tomorrow what happens when the prince ventures to the tower again!