It was a beautiful October day, full of color and sunshine, when Lyddie Buns and her Nana went for a walk. They walked along through the neighborhood streets until they reached the park. Lyddie Buns wanted to play on the slides. Nana parked herself on a shaded bench and pulled out her crochet project.
It took Lyddie Buns all of ten seconds to realize that she didn’t have 100% of Nana’s attention, so she forsook her conquest of the slide and came running to the bench where Nana sat.
“Nana, come play with me!” coaxed Lyddie Buns.
“Nana is tired from the long walk,” said Nana. “You go play, and I’ll sit here and watch.”
“I’m tired from the long walk too,” replied Lyddie Buns, plopping her bottom on the bench. “I’ll sit here with you and listen while you tell me a story.”
“I’m going to tell you a story?”
“Yes. About a princess, like me.”
“Well, alright. Hmmm. How about I tell you the story of Ruthunsel?”
“Is Ruthunsel a princess?”
“Is there a wicked witch and a handsome prince?”
“Uh, I suppose. Now how about you listen and let me tell the tale?”
Once upon a time there was a sweet little girl named Ruthunsel.
“She’s the princess like me, right, Nana?”
“Yes. Now don’t interrupt the story.”
This sweet little princess, Ruthunsel (who was just like Lyddie Buns) lived with her brother and sisters in a magic kingdom called “Hoffenmist Hill”.
“What’s hoffenmist, Nana?”
“It’s an old German word for a… pile of something. That part isn’t important. Shall I go on?”
So Ruthunsel and her siblings lived in this magic kingdom where life was wonderful, and they had lots of fun.
“What about the wicked witch? There has to be an antagonist in the story, Nana! Where’s the witch?”
“All right, already! I suppose there has to be a bad guy. I will introduce the antagonist next. May I continue?”
As you so well know, nothing in magic kingdoms stay lovely forever, and this was also true on Hoffenmist Hill. The day arrived when it was time for all the princes and princesses to get their hair trimmed.
“What’s so bad about a hair cut? Mommy cuts my hair all the time! I don’t…”
Now Ruthunsel’s mommy also cut her hair. And it usually was not a problem either; but on this particular day, something EVIL happened.
An east wind was blowing that day, and with it came the wicked witch named ‘Allergies’. Allergies cast a spell over Ruthunsel and her mother, making both of them sneeze just as Mother was making a snip of Ruthunsel’s hair.
“Uh-oh. Did the mommy make a bad snip in Ruthunsel’s hair? Cuz sometimes I’m really wiggley and that makes Mommy make a bad snip in my hair.”
Unfortunately Allergies’ sneeze caused a really bad snip in Ruthunsel’s hair. Ruthunsel was not at all pleased with the outcome. From that day foreward, Ruthunsel vowed that she would never again let anyone trim her hair.
“Wow, I bet Ruthunsel’s hair got really long! Can I have long hair like that? What happens next?”
Yes, Ruthensel’s hair got really long. Long and beautiful, and Ruthunsel took very good care of it. In fact, Ruthunsel ended up spending a lot of time taking care of her hair. It took a lot of work to wash that long hair, and comb that long hair, and put it up every day so Ruthunsel could walk around without stepping on it. Soon, it seemed like all Ruthunsel had time for was taking care of her hair.
“So where does the handsome prince come in? Doesn’t a handsome prince have to come in and rescue the princess? How does Ruthunsel need rescuing?”
“Yes, I suppose the story needs a handsome prince. Let me see…”
The day finally came when Ruthunsel no longer left her upstairs apartment because of her long, long hair. She would sit on her balcony and watch the world go by while she combed and combed and combed her hair. Word got out that the beautiful princess Ruthunsel was stuck in her tower and needed rescuing by a handsome prince.
Now, you understand that the world can be filled with handsome hunky princes, but not necessarily intelligent handsome princes. Ruthunsel was not about to monkey around with mere hunks, so she found it rather annoying when the hunky handsome princes would ride to her apartment, stand below her balcony and call –
‘Ruthunsel, Ruthunsel, let down your hair
That I might climb the golden stair!’
“They wanted to climb up her hair? That’s icky! That would hurt! Why would Ruthunsel let them do that?”
“Well, Ruthunsel felt the same way, and she wasn’t going to let them climb her hair. Now let me finish the story, we’re almost done.”
Each time that a prince would call out for Ruthunsel to ‘let down her hair’, Ruthunsel would call back –
“Are you nuts? If you had half a brain in your head you would ring the doorbell and come in the front door like any intelligent gent! Now go away!”
Many young men came and called. And many young men rode away sadly disappointed. It seemed as if Princess Ruthunsel would never get rescued from her ‘tower’. Then one day, a big brown UPS truck pulled up in front of Ruthunsel’s apartment building. Ruthunsel watched from her balcony. A man got out of the big brown truck. He wore a brown shirt, brown shorts, and big brown boots. He was carrying a big brown box…
“Is this the prince?? Is this the guy that will rescue Ruthunsel?? Cuz he’ll ring the doorbell right, huh, Nana? UPS guys always ring the doorbell! Will Ruthunsel let him rescue her?, huh, Nana?!”
“I don’t know, Lyddie Buns. It’s getting late and it’s time for us to walk back home. We’ll have to finish the story another time.”
“Oh, Nana! You are a stinker!”