Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rapunzel, The Second

I’m slowly learning that when I do magic for my grandchildren, the props must be indestructible. Plus they must not have any tricky switches or secret compartments that will let my grandchildren figure out how the trick is done. Also, there must not be any slight of hand because they like to poke their hands into my pockets, hoping to discover how I did the magic.  This truly limits what I can do to science combined with story telling.   Here is my latest that I’ll be doing with them on Thanksgiving:

Rapunzel, the Second

You all know the story of the First Rapunzel.  How she got locked in a tower to keep her away from the world, and only her mother could visit her.  Her mother loved her, but she protected her way too much!

Most people who learn the story of the First Rapunzel feel sorry for her when she is locked in the tower. And they are happy when the prince rescues her.

But one little girl, named Maribel, wished she had been raised in a tower and rescued by a prince.  And when she had a little girl, she loved that baby very much, and wanted her to have the best life possible.  She thought that meant raising her daughter in a tower, keeping her away from the world, and when she was old enough, being rescued by a prince.  She named her baby daughter Rapunzel, the Second.

Maribel knew that the first Rapunzel escaped her tower by cutting off her long hair and climbing down from the window.  She didn’t want her daughter to read that story and escape too soon.  After all, she gave her daughter everything and that meant complete access to all the famous old books, that can be read for free on the Internet, and that included the original Rapunzel story.  So, Maribel cut her Rapunzel’s hair every month, and kept it very short and curly, which she thought looked cute.  And Maribel knew about stories in which people escape out windows by tying handkerchiefs together to make a long rope.  So, she read magic books at her library and learned how to make every knot Rapunzel, the 2nd tied come undone.

Demo Slydini Silks – handkerchiefs that won’t stay knotted.

She also knew about lockpicking websites, so she used more magic to create a door on the tower that would only unlock with a key held in the hand of someone who loved her.  If that person loved her, as much as her mother, then and only then, the key would turn in the lover’s hand, and the door would unlock.  Maribel kept her special key in a safe place, where only she knew where to find it.

What she didn’t think of was that the book, where she learned how to make the magic key was still in the library.  In fact, it was available free online, since it was a very old book and it was out of copyright.  Rapunzel knew about her mother’s magic key. And Rapunzel found the book with the magic spell.  She bookmarked it in her browser.  Then she tried to join chat groups, but her mother had activated parental controls on her computer.

Rapunzel, the Second, was never going to meet her handsome prince. Nobody was going to rescue her.  She looked out her window – nobody ever came to visit her but her mother, and sometimes the mail carrier who brought her new clothes, and materials for her science lessons. Then she had an idea – she could buy an old key from Ebay – she could work the magic spell. She could open the door to her tower from the inside.  She could free herself.  And she did!

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