There is a chance of ice and snow tonight so these herbs and tomato plants continue to wait.
Our radishes are doing great!
The kids and I were so excited to see the first signs of our urban garden taking shape. I thought the radishes were peppers, but thanks to Juliette we can be assured they are in fact rapunzels. (She drew a diagram of the garden.) Did you know rapunzel is the German word for radish? For nearly four decades this has escaped me.
When I was a little girl, my mother often read me the fairytale Rapunzel by the Brothers Grimm. I asked her to read it to me all the time even though it scared the absolute living daylights out of me. I thought Rapunzel’s mother was the most ignorant, self-centered woman that ever walked the face of the earth. And, I felt sorry for her husband – making him jump that wall and steal radishes from the evil witch’s garden. What was she thinking? I also thought he was weak. There was no way anyone could ever make me take those kinds of risks, and I thought he was an absolute fool for giving in to her cravings.
I could hardly sleep at night thinking of the baby Rapunzel being taken from her mother and the mother being taken away from her only baby. Many years later, a handsome prince attempts to save Rapunzel, hence locked away in a tower. While climbing her braids the evil witch cuts them and the prince nearly falls to his death. He lives, but gets poked in the eyes with thorny briers and goes blind. The pictures in this book were so scary.
Believe it or not, Rapunzel was more bearable than the other five stories in the series we owned: Puss ‘n Boots; The Treasure of the Three Brothers; The Emperor’s New Clothes; The Three Dogs and Aladdin and his Magic Lamp.
I was convinced the cat in Puss ‘n Boots was the devil. In retrospect, this story is reminiscent of some Russian literary works, most notably Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita. At any rate, the cat scared me, even more than that witch and her bony fingers – snatching back the coveted ruby-red radishes. He (the cat) was too clever for me. I didn’t understand his thinking and I knew then that I would never think like him and would never want to be around people who did.
And, I really hate to bring it up, but the name. Puss????? As a little girl, I was like, “That is either 1) The result of an infection caused by a splinter you got and hid from your dad so he wouldn’t poke you with a needle he sterilized with the blue flame of a gas stove or 2) a very naughty word.”
I regarded The Treasure of the Three Brothers and Aladdin and His Magic Lamp as stories for boys. They bored me. The Three Dogs was not particularly memorable, but, again, no matter how quaint the ending, the illustrations had me shaking in my black patent shoes.
The final story in the series, The Emperor’s New Clothes, mortified me. No matter how much I didn’t like the guy, I would have had to tell him he needed to put some clothes on.
Two other things that scared me as a kid were tales of Big Foot and the Bermuda Triangle. What scared you?