For "planting Rapunzel, page
1," click here.
A parallel story: How Rapunzel went to school
In March I met with kindergartners
at New York's Midtown West School (P.S. 212), to
speak about the book Rapunzel.
This was one
of the first events in a two-year fairy-tale-combined-with-theater
study led by their remarkable teacher, Bryan Andes, and his colleague
Miranda Critz. Later, when my
rapunzel seeds arrived from England, I
thought these children might appreciate the experience
of planting and growing and possibly even eating their
own rapunzel. When I offered to send some seeds to Bryan, he
told me that the classes had already started a fairy tale garden
in the school's own nearby garden,
so nothing could have been more appropriate.
Unfortunately, the seeds I mailed to them failed to germinate.
So recently my wife Deborah, who before she retired from teaching
was at one point also a remarkable kindergarten teacher, carried
a small batch of our rapunzel seedlings up to P.S. 212, and
class, teachers and
parent volunteers planted them in the garden.
hope for the best for these rapunzels.
Bad news: a spring and early summer of almost ceaseless rain seems
to have done in the rapunzel.
Well, the Zelinskys' plants are
still doing fine, so there is rapunzel to spare. Even though
the school year is over, the school's garden is being
tended by parent volunteers. So another visit is called
for, bringing five replacement plants.
Paul's wife Deborah and artist and school gardener Aimee
Margolis plant more rapunzel, on July 14, 2009, the French
Republic's 220th birthday. The French story that was
later rewritten as "Rapunzel"
is 92 years older than that.
During the summer there was construction at the
building next door, as a result of which, rats overran the garden.
The rapunzel didn't make it. Not what people call "a fairy tale
ending," is it? But it was a good experience for the children.
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