As they reached the ground, the woman returned and shrieked in rage. The prince drew his sword and aimed it threateningly at the woman, so she wisely kept her distance. But even as they turned to leave, the woman cried out that Rapunzel owed her a debt for all the long years of caring for her. “Is this how a daughter treats her mother?” she screamed.
Rapunzel’s heart was grieved and she wept. She started to look back. But the prince reassured her that what Rapunzel had known was not love or acceptance but was bondage. “Not only that,” he murmured into her ear. “I know who you really are: the daughter of a man and woman who have come into my kingdom. Their tale of sorrow at having lost their daughter has come to me and I would have you restored to them. They bitterly rue their misdeeds that sold you into the exile that you’ve suffered for so long. But now that I have come to set you free, choose now to be free indeed. Come and be with me forever and let the rift between you and your parents be healed.”
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