Inspired by the Man Bun…A story…
Mr. Al and I’ve been having fun on FaceBook with all the ManBun talk. As a result, I decided to retell the Rapunzel story featuring the ManBun.
Here we go–
With a jolt, Rapunzel realized someone had shouted her name. It was such a surprise she very nearly pricked her finger on her embroidery needle.
The old woman had left a day ago.
Who else knew she even existed?
Once again her name was shouted in a rich baritone of a voice. Curiosity overcame the slight feeling of trepidation.
She set down her embroidery in a neat pile, glad her finger remained intact and her work bloodless.
The old woman would sell as many pieces as Rapunzel could make in a month. If she made many, she was awarded with a month’s worth of lovely meals. If she made too few, it would be gruel and stale bread. Stepping over her masses of plaited hair, Rapunzel glanced at the hard, green-tinged bread on her kitchen table. Her stomach gurgled, not in a pleasant way.
At the window, she peered out, careful not to lean too far. It was a long drop out that single window.
Below her, a face was tilted up, waiting. A rather handsome face it was, too, with piercing blue eyes and a square jaw. Jet-black hair was gathered together in some sort of messy topknot. It invited her to untie the leather string that held it in its manly bun, freeing the silky blackness so she could run her fingers through its tumbled mass. She imagined it would feel as soft as kitten fur, although she had never stroked kitten fur.
Her fingers twitched.
The handsome face frowned, and then spoke. “Well?”
“Let down your long hair and let me climb up.”
“To rescue you, of course. It is why I am here.”
Rapunzel squinted at him. “How tall are you?”
“Nearly six foot three, why?”
“Someone as tall as you would most certainly weigh more than the old woman who climbs my hair. You would surely pull it out at its roots, the pain would be unbearable.” She gazed at his bound hair. “Reluctantly I must decline your kind offer. Although I appreciate the gesture. I do so yearn to leave this place.”
“Then it would be a pity to miss this fine opportunity.” He absently patted his captured hair.
Rapunzel gazed at his chiseled features and the silky topknot, which gleamed in the sun. “I don’t suppose you have a knife,” she said slowly.
“Of course I have a knife. I have all sorts of adventuring tools right here in my horse’s saddlebags.” He swept his hand in the direction of his horse, a fine fellow with an arched neck who waited patiently. “But I do not see how my knife could rescue you and I truly wish to do so. No one as beautiful as you should live hidden away.
She put her hands on her hot cheeks. “Oh. How very kind you are. “
“I am very kind. I believe in being kind. In fact, I have never killed anything or anyone in all my years of adventuring, even though, I am a champion of arms and none can best me.”
Rapunzel rested her elbows on the windowsill. She hooked her foot around the stool she used to sit upon when the old woman climbed up her hair and drew it toward her. “How do you manage that?” she asked as she sat.
“Reason and friendly banter. And sometimes a pint of ale. A good ale can bring out the goodwill in even the toughest customer,” he added with a grin.
“You seem quite worldly.”
“I am. I have been adventuring for many years. But now, I am going home for my father wishes to retire. I will be king, you see. You are my final adventure.” He glanced at the sun, becoming low in the sky. “And I wish you would let your hair down. I shall use my knife, slip it between the mortars to support most of my weight. I wish to take you from this unholy prison of yours as soon as possible.”
“I already told you I would not. You would be too heavy, even then. But I’ve another idea.” Rapunzel said, deciding she rather liked this prince with his delightful topknot. “Stay right there.”
She stood and surveyed her meager belongings. She barely glanced at her jeweled encrusted hairbrush. Instead, she went to where her scrolls lay neatly stacked, stepping lightly over her coiled hair. These, she placed inside a waterproof satchel which she tied to the end of her hair. “Have a care,” she called down to the handsome prince bent on her rescue. “The knowledge these scrolls possess is priceless.” Using her hair as a rope, she lowered the satchel into the prince’s hands.
Gently, he untied the satchel and laid it on the ground. “I understand the value of knowledge,” he told her, adding, “Your golden hair is glorious.”
“Thank you,” she replied as she pulled her plaited hair back into the window, “for the compliment and for not attempting to climb it. You are a true gentleman.”
“I live by my honor,” he answered. “Will you be coming down next?”
“I do believe I will be.”
“Splendid! But how?”
With embroidery thread, Rapunzel tied a knot at the end of her glorious hair, wrapping the thread around and around so it was strong. Then, she tied her hair to the spokes of the stool, which stood by the window and knotted off the thread. She wedged the stool against the windowsill and the wall. Fisting her hair in her hands, she shimmied out the window.
Although she had never climbed down her own hair, having witnessed the old woman both climbing up and down countless times, she felt she could. The risk, she decided, was worth it.
“What a splendid idea!” the prince called from below, “As clever as you are beautiful. You are marvelous!”
“I don’t feel marvelous. I feel frightened.” She breathlessly replied.
“Just don’t look down. And don’t worry, I shall catch you if you fall. You can count on me.”
“That’s a relief,” she huffed.
And it was. She’d never had anyone she could count on.
“Nearly there!” The prince encouraged. “There’s a foothold a little to your left.”
She found the foothold. It helped immensely. Her hair and scalp ached from holding her weight.
“I can almost reach your ankle,” the prince said. “When I do, let go. I’ll bring you the rest of the way down. I’d very much like to participate in your rescue.”
She decided she rather liked the sound of his rich baritone. “I’m no adventurer, sir, I will gladly let you participate in my rescue. And you have already, whether you realize it or not,” she puffed. “If you hadn’t been here, I’d never be doing this. Oh–!”
His grasp was warm and strong.
“I’ve got you. You can let go now.”
The relief of letting go was beyond words.
The prince set her gently to the ground, keeping a steadying arm about her waist.
“Thank you,” she said.
“You’re still attached,” he said, craning his neck to look up at the window.
She nodded. “About that knife.”
“Right here. Shall I do the honors?”
She thought about it. “I’ll begin and you may finish.”
He nodded. “I understand,” and handed her the knife.
With a sigh she began to cut herself free from her masses of hair. Halfway through, she returned the knife to the prince, allowing him to finish.
When she was free, she burst into tears, surprising herself.
But the prince, used to rescuing and adventuring, gathered her into his arms and stroked her back in soothing swirls until she was calm. “Ready?” he asked her and presented her with a fine linen handkerchief.
She sniffed, blotted her eyes, blew her nose and nodded. Her shortened hair felt light and bouncy whenever she moved her head. It made her want to laugh.
Effortlessly, the prince swung her atop his silver horse and carefully handed her the satchel filled with scrolls. Then, just as effortlessly, he swung up behind her.
She leaned against him and felt his muscles bunch and shift as he gathered his mount’s reins into his capable hands.
“We will be at my ship within the hour,” he told her, “And well on our way by nightfall.” He clucked to his horse. “You really are marvelous, Rapunzel. I am quite taken with you. Never have I met a damsel who had the wherewithal to rescue herself. How do you fancy being my queen?”
She turned her shoulders so she could look at him and reached up to pull his hair free from it’s binding. “I should like that very much,” she replied, running her fingers through his manly mane. “As long as I never have to live in a tower and embroider. “
“Never again. You have my word of honor.”
“And I should like a kitten,” she added as she turned forward once again. “And for you to keep your hair up like that so I can take it down.”
Have a great week, Peeps!
I leave you with a Man Bun warning: It can lead to hair loss. Here’s the link. Wearing a ManBun can have an unwelcome effect