Emily Watson - How the Library (Not the Prince) Saved Rapunzel CBeebies Bedtime Stories


Emily Watson - How the Library (Not the Prince) Saved Rapunzel

A story read by a special guest. Emily Watson tells us about Rapunzel and the letter that changes her life.


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Transcript


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CBeebies Bedtime Story.

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Hello. I'm Emily.

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I love to brush the teddies' hair,

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except Henrietta's hair is longer than most bears'

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and it takes a while for me to brush.

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In fact, Henrietta's hair is almost as long as Rapunzel's,

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the girl in tonight's Bedtime Story.

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The story's called How the Library (Not the Prince) Saved Rapunzel.

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It's written by Wendy Meddour and the pictures are by Rebecca Ashdown.

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On the 16th floor of a tall tower block sat Rapunzel,

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quite idle, whilst growing her locks.

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"Rapunzel? Rapunzel? Please let down your hair",

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called the milkman from down on the bottom stair.

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"The lift is not working. The stairs are too steep.

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"My asthma is bad and my heart is too weak."

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But Rapunzel just sat. She didn't move.

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She had nowhere to go.

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She had nothing to prove.

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She just looked at the sky and she dreamed up a dream,

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whilst the milkman went off in his float to sell cream.

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It was later that day, much warmer than most,

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when the postman came around to deliver the post.

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"Rapunzel? Rapunzel? Please let down your hair,"

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called the postman from down on the bottom stair.

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"You've got a brown letter. It looks like a bill.

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"Shall I leave it down here on the windowsill?"

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Rapunzel just sat. She didn't blink.

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She had nothing to say.

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She had nothing to think.

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She looked out at the birds and started to frown.

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So the postman just left it and went into town.

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When the sun was full blaze, just after lunch,

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the baker came around, selling warm things to munch.

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"Rapunzel? Rapunzel? Please let down your hair",

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called the baker from down on the bottom stair.

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"I've got a bad knee, but I'm not one to moan.

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"Let me send up some bread and a hot buttered scone."

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But Rapunzel just sat. She didn't flinch.

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She wouldn't move, not even an inch.

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Not a sound was uttered, not a word was said.

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So the baker went back to her shop to sell bread.

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Now, Rapunzel's aunt was the caring sort,

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and around about 4:00, some dinner, she brought.

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"Rapunzel? Rapunzel? Please let down your hair",

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called her aunt from down on the bottom stair.

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"I've made a fish pie for you to eat.

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"I've wrapped it in tinfoil to keep in the heat."

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But Rapunzel just sat. She didn't stir.

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A statue wasn't as still as her.

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She just watched as the rain began to fall,

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whilst her aunt dashed off to the bingo hall.

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Now, this story must have a prince, of course,

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and he showed up late, but not on a horse.

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With the wind in his hair and blowing his hooter,

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along came the prince on the back of a scooter.

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"Rapunzel? Rapunzel? Please let down your hair",

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called the prince from down on the bottom stair.

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He brought with him chocolates and roses red.

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He wore leather trousers and shades on his head.

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But Rapunzel just sat, as still as a wall.

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She didn't think much of her prince at all.

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She just stared and stared and stared at the rain.

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And the prince was never seen again.

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It has to be said, without lunch or dinner,

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Rapunzel was starting to get a bit thinner.

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"To leave her without any milk was mean",

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said the milkman on hearing Rapunzel was lean.

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"And I should've really delivered that letter."

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The postman felt guilty and wished she were better.

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"To think", said her aunt, "that she's all alone

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"on the 16th floor, as thin as a bone.

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"Rapunzel has patience, she doesn't move.

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"She has nowhere to go, she has nothing to prove.

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"But to sit on your own all day and dream,

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"well, it's not really good for one's self-esteem."

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The milkman, the aunt and all of her friends

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decided to gather and make their amends.

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They climbed up the stairs, steady but sure.

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All the way up to the 16th floor.

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And burst through the door of Rapunzel's flat,

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where she sat alone with only her cats.

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They cooked her some supper, the first in weeks.

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It brought the roses back to her cheeks.

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The postman gave her the letter to read

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and what happened next, you'd hardly believe.

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Rapunzel leapt up and she shouted with glee,

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"I've got a new job at the library!"

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She skipped around the room and she started to groove.

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She had somewhere to go, she had something to prove.

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She went to the cupboard and brought out a spanner,

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then she fixed the lift in a ladylike manner.

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"Thank you, dear friends", she said. "I'm all right."

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So they all took the lift and she turned out the light.

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The following morning at 6:00 sharp,

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she jumped up out of bed whilst it was still dark.

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She tied up her hair in a very long plait

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and pinned it all under a bright purple hat.

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She put on a suit and a pair of smart shoes

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and ate a big breakfast whilst reading the news.

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Then she got in the lift and went down, down, down, down,

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to start her new job at the library in town.

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Everyone loved her.

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She sparkled all day.

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And life at the library continued this way.

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For, along with her hair and her ravishing looks,

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she loved nothing better than reading good books.

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Now, Rapunzel has changed,

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and it makes her wince to think that she used to just wait for a prince.

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That she used to just sit, that she didn't move,

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with nowhere to go and nothing to prove.

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For now, she reads three books every night

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under the beam of her bedside light.

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She can tell you the distance to the moon.

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She can do Scottish dancing and pay the bassoon.

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She can speak in four languages, skip and play chess.

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She can knit tiny eggcups and cross-stitch a dress.

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She knows the difference between crows and rooks,

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and all because of library books.

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So don't just wait for your prince to show.

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He might turn up, but you never know.

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Pop down to your library and borrow a book.

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There's so much to find out if only you look.

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But don't just sit and wait and stare

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when there's more to life than growing your hair.

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I am so happy Rapunzel loves books.

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I think Henrietta the Bear loves books just as much.

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And I hope you loved that story.

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I'll see you soon for another lovely story. Night-night.

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Emily Watson tells us about Rapunzel, who lives in a tower block but won't come downstairs, until one day a letter arrives that changes her life.


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