Alone, in a tower,
A girl weaves her hair.
While dangling and untangling it,
She adds her tears to the pond below.
Alone, but for the other spoils
Adorning the interior.
Silver spoons, wagon wheels,
Boxes of yarn and linen
Crammed into every corner
The witch finds to fill in.
The peasants avoid this dark spot
That spites the light around.
The witch drains all their resources
And loves to drag them down.
To those who have not heard of her
Or listened to the warnings,
She seems an unobtrusive sort-
A beggar without earnings
Then when peasants too near venture
A dangerous dance ensues
The witch begins to say a rhyme
To stall them and amuse:
‘Come closer still and hear a tale
Of woe and mournful song.
Listen to my suffering
My pain and trials long.
I have no means, no trade or schtick
Except a harmless parlor trick.
Why not play a game or two
Betting trifles you won’t use?’
Once the peasants pause
Along the shady avenue
The witch seizes their precious time
And wins their humble audience too.
After a mere two hours
She swindles most with ease.
And collecting gold and trinkets
Comes as easy as the breeze.
An unfortunate couple
Who did not have gold in piles,
Wept and wailed because
The witch won their infant child.
Every day up in the tower
That child sings a tragic song
Of parents lost and gone
And hair that grows dreadfully long.
But lonesome she would be no more
For soon a friend she’d gain.
A friend who’d signed her life away-
A new life she wished to attain.
A little mermaid pined and pined
For access to the inland.
Too close to the water
She could never try to live a human.
Two forms of being-legs and tail
She easily could assume
As long as she stayed clear
Of the briny ocean blue.
In return for transport from the sea
The mermaid had to ensure
Scales aplenty from her tail
A priceless marine treasure.
The witch kept the bargain
And to the land the mermaid was truly brought
But to the mermaid’s utter dismay
To a most solitary spot.
In the same pond not too far below
Rapunzel’s lonely stoop
Came to live a perplexed mermaid
To a melancholy coop.
A shy and cautious girl
Walked and peered over the rail
And gasped to see another:
The floating Ariel.
From then on, a precious friendship grew
-Each sharing her troubles sour.
With every passing hour
More of each other’s struggle they knew.
One calling down the tower,
One yelling from below,
Their laughter and companionship
Was a delight to behold.
At night the witch returned,
Burdened with goods from all the scheming,
And scowled at the sight
Of the two girls sweetly dreaming.
A couple of years go by
In this barely tolerable state.
Both still feeling isolated
And consigned to this one fate.
Rapunzel, trapped by a fear of heights,
Could no more escape
Than Ariel with her silver tail,
Not knowing to use a human shape.
One day the mermaid ventured-
On wobbly legs indeed,
To try walking on land
At a quite irregular speed.
Rapunzel cheered her from above
As Ariel strode unsure,
Marveling at her progress along
The dewy springtime pasture.
Excitement throttling in her chest
And her breath drawing ever sharper,
Ariel runs till the tower is out of sight,
Her grass skirt trailing after.
This sight of wild maiden slight
With foreign garb quite strange
Startled a prince scanning the horizon,
Because of the view’s sudden change
He laughs and calls, “Fair maiden,
From what village have you come?”
Ariel returns the laugh and shows him
To the tower now not quite as glum.
Ariel, stricken with the prince’s charm,
Felt immediately rather jealous
As she witnessed the prince’s expression
When he saw Rapunzel’s silky tresses.
As the prince made his way up the tower
To meet Rapunzel, flushed and blushing,
Ariel sunk back in the water
And let her tears flow, warm and gushing.
The prince left before nightfall
When the witch would soon return,
But promised to come back again
And the day after in turn.
True to his word, the prince rode his steed
To the same place where he found them,
Nodded courteously to Ariel, and
Climbed the hair of his favorite maiden.
Rapunzel grew more and more
Of the prince just as fond,
While Ariel watched and sulked
From her gloomy, murky pond
Time and time again
Ariel felt her thoughts wander
To the ocean home she left
In a temper of hot and naïve thunder.
The tail she had long hated
Now seemed to her less repulsive,
And the lofty vision she had of humans
The witch had proved illusive.
So for Rapunzel and her prince,
Ariel resolved to wish the best.
But first, she had to ensure
They could have a future free of the past.
One bit of wealth of Ariel’s
She had long kept from the witch-
One that she had held onto tightly
For such a time as this.
The sole gift from her father,
The long-revered sea king Triton,
Was a long silver chain
That at the end held a blue diamond.
A few months passed when
Ariel suggested to the couple that they marry,
And when they wondered how,
Ariel showed them the matchless jewelry.
So when the witch hobbled to the tower and the pond
To see the prisoners left them,
Her anger vanished when she saw
The glittering, priceless gem.
Meanwhile the prince and princess traveled
To the castle in the heart of the country,
And Ariel could not wait and ran
Back to the shimmering sea.
But neither Rapunzel nor Ariel
Forgot their first true friend.
And on that sentimental note
I write the words: “The End”.