Prince Ferdinand was traveling through the woods when he saw the most amazing sight. An older woman was climbing up a tower using someone’s hair as a rope. He waited until the woman climbed back down and was preparing to leave.
“Wait, Madam,” he said. “I have a few questions for you.”
The woman turned and scowled. “Well?”
“That hair, that impossibly long, strong, lustrous hair. How did you do it? Is it a potion or spell? Is it repeatable?”
Her eyebrows raised. “It’s a potion.”
The prince smiled widely. “That’s excellent. Would you be willing to take a few minutes to discuss a business opportunity? Let me introduce myself. I’m Prince Ferdinand.”
“Hazel,” the woman said.
Twenty minutes later, they were sitting in the tower drinking tea. The long-haired girl was staring at the prince. “Don’t mind her,” Hazel said. “She doesn’t get out much. Now tell me about this business opportunity.”
“Gladly,” the prince said. “It isn’t widely known that in years past, my family had fallen on some hard times. The last few kings really weren’t careful with money. They bought ridiculous things like solid gold grandfather clocks that can’t be resold at anywhere near market value.”
“Um, that’s terrible?” the long-haired girl said.
“Hush, Rapunzel,” Hazel said. “Go on, then.”
“Well, it’s fallen to me to increase our fortunes. Through careful investments, we’re on the mend. However, I’m always on the lookout for a good investment opportunity. You, madam, are gleaming with potential.” The prince raised his teacup to her.
“I am?” Hazel asked. “What do you mean?”
“Do you know how much people would pay to be able to guarantee long, strong, beautiful hair?” He waved a hand at the hair filling the room. “It’s amazing. Obviously, you’d need to weaken the formula a bit, but you could be famous for something like this. And very rich. I’d provide start up costs and such, for a percentage of the profits of course.”
“I hadn’t even considered… I don’t know…Rich and famous?” Hazel tapped a finger on the table.
“Rapunzel is it?” The prince asked. Rapunzel nodded her head. “Rapunzel would make an excellent hair model. We could find a hairstylist to be your spokesperson and together they could sell the product, freeing up your time for lab work and such.” He paused and looked at Rapunzel again. He frowned. “Is there a reason she stays in the tower?”
Hazel looked embarrassed. “I was angry at her parents for stealing from me and demanded the baby in return. I didn’t really want the baby. What do I know about babies? But they didn’t counteroffer or anything, just handed her over. It was terrible. So I kept her up here to keep her safe when I’m away. Of course now I love her dearly.”
The prince nodded. “We’ll have to put a different spin on it of course for the media. Perhaps she could start out as your assistant until she’s ready to interact more with the public.”
“Could I go to school?” Rapunzel asked.
“We could probably arrange tutors or something,” the prince said. “What do you think, Hazel?”
“Oh, I don’t know, I suppose so,” the woman said.
“Excellent.” The prince clapped his hands together and smiled. “I can draw up a contract and return here in a week. Think of any terms you’d like to suggest. Would you like me to bring a lawyer to answer any questions?”
“Um, yes please,” Hazel said.
“Well then,” the prince said. He stood up. Hazel and Rapunzel stood too, and he shook their hands. “Before I go, have you given any thought to hair dye? Does your formula include a detangler or is it separate? Oh, I can see I’m going to need to write up a list of questions.”
“That would be fine,” Hazel said. She and Rapunzel watched the prince climb down the tower.
“I’ll be back in a week with my lawyer,” he said.
“That was so exciting,” Rapunzel said. “What’s a lawyer?”