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Zel City Rapunzeloids

A New Cosmic Underleague Team

Player Position
Husband of Rapunza. Father of Rapuno & Rapuna
Daughter of Rapun & Rapunza; Sister of Rapuno
Son of Rapun & Rapunza; Brother of Rapuna
Wife of Rapun. Mother of Rapuna & Rapuno. Sister of Rapunzo.
Mother of Rapunzella; Wife of Rapunzeldo
Father of Rapunzella; Husband of Rapunzella
Daughter of Rapunzelda and Rapunzeldo. Stepdaughter of Zeldaronna. Older Sister of Rapunzello. Wife of Zeldoro.
Son of Rapunzelda and Rapunzeldo. Younger Brother of Rapunzella.
Brother of Rapunza.
Husband of Zelda
Wife of Zel
Mother of Zeldoro & Zeldora
Gardner, Enchantress, Sorceress and Witch. Step-mother of Rapunzella.
Daughter of Zeldonna & Zeldonno. Sister of Zeldo.
Husband of Zeldu
Daughter of Rapunzella & Zeldoro. Twin sister of Zeldino.
Son of Rapunzella & Zeldoro. Twin brother of Zeldino.
Son of Zeldonna & Zeldonno. Brother of Zeldi.
Wife of Zeldonno. Mother of Zeldi & Zeldo.
Husband of Zeldonna. Father of Zeldi & Zeldo.
Father of Zeldoro & Zeldora. Husband of Zeldara.
Daughter of Zeldor & Zeldara. Sister of Zeldoro.
Son of Zeldor & Zeldora. Husband of Rapunzella.
Wife of Zeldin.
Team Management
Giambattista Basile
Italian writer (~1637) of Pentamerone which includes the tale "Petrosinella."
Field Manager
J.C.F. Schulz
German translator of "Persinette" and probable changer of the name "Persinette" to "Rapunzel."
Charlotte de la Force
French writer (~1697) of "Persinette," a version of the "Petrosinella" tale.
Brothers Grimm
German fairy tale collectors who published a collection of tales in 1812, one of which was "Rapunzel."
Rampion Field
Located on the Zeldaronna Estate.
Seats: 51

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Rapunzel about to have her hair cut off by her step-mother, the Witch. (From a drawing by Kay Nielsen)

Rapunzel in her tower. (From an anonymous drawing, 1909)

The Prince visiting Rapunzel. (From a drawing by H.J. Ford)
The ZEL CITY RAPUNZELOIDS are a Cosmic Baseball Association team inspired by the children's fairy tale, "Rapunzel." The Rapunzeloids were created on February 9, 2002.

Starting Lineup/Batting Order
1Zeldaronna, CF
2Zeldonno, LF
3Zeldin, 2B
4Zeldi, RF
5Zelda, 1B
6Zeldonna, C
7Zel, 3B
8Zeldara, SS
9Rapunzella, P
Rapunzel is a tale about a young girl, victimized by selfish women.

While pregnant, Rapunzel's biological mother craved the sweet taste of the radish-like rampion. This plant grew abundantly in a neighbor's garden. So strong was the pregnant woman's craving that she convinced her husband to steal some of the rampion from the garden. This, the loving husband did, twice. Except during the second theft the garden's owner, who was also a sorceress and witch, caught him. As punishment and payment for the stolen goods, the witch demanded that the couple's first-born child be given to her. On her birthday, Rapunzel was, according to the agreement, delivered to the witch, who adopted her and became her step-mother.

What became of her selfish birth mother is not covered in the fairy tale that has descended from the early Italian and French variations of the story. The Brothers Grimm, Jakob and Wilhelm, included a version of the tale in their fairy tale collection published in 1812. In that tale, we are quickly brought to the time when Rapunzel, as a young pubertal girl, has begun rebelling against her stepmother. In a rather desperate attempt to keep Rapunzel from attaining any degree of independence, the witch has locked her stepdaughter in a castle tower. To visit her stepdaughter the witch climbs up to the tower using Rapunzel's own long hair. There are no other entry points to Rapunzel's room atop the tower.

One day, the king's son, a fairy tale handsome prince of a young man, has occasion to observe the witch's visit to her stepdaughter's prison. "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair," calls out the witch and soon Rapunzel's beautiful golden locks are dropped out of the tower's single window. Transfixed, the handsome prince watches the witch ascend to Rapunzel's lonely room. He watches until the witch descends the tower using her stepdaughter's locks. Intrigued by whose head and body this beautiful golden hair belongs to, the prince decides to use trickery to find out. Mimicking the witch's voice he calls up, "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair."

Despite the oddity of the witch returning to visit so soon after her departure, Rapunzel lets down her hair again. Something seemed odd, the weight on her hair did not seem as heavy. However, before she could sort out the difference the handsome young prince of a man was there inside her private cell. She was startled. He was in love.

The prince visits Rapunzel on several more occasions. They are both in love. Plans are made for Rapunzel to escape and live happily ever after with her prince. However, the plan is foiled when Rapunzel herself accidentally reveals the existence of the prince. Rapunzel, inadvertently asks her stepmother why she is so much heavier than the young prince. Once the witch becomes aware of the prince she promptly cuts off Rapunzel's hair and banishes her to a remote desert location.

The witch next ensnares the prince when he comes for Rapunzel. When he calls to Rapunzel to let her hair down, the witch, who had braided Rapunzel's shorn locks throws the hair down. The prince climbs up and is so terrified to see the stepmother that he jumps out of the tower. He survives the jump but is blinded in both eyes by the thorns he landed in. Thereafter he wanders aimlessly. Meanwhile, in the desert, Rapunzel has given birth to twins: a boy and a girl. But her life and her children's lives are destitute.

All ends well when coincidentally the blind prince finds Rapunzel and the children in the desert. Tears of joy from Rapunzel's eyes fall onto the prince's face and restore his vision. They return to the prince's homeland where they live together as a family, happily ever after.

The child psychologist, Bruno Bettelheim, wisely observed that the story of Rapunzel emphasizes that the solutions to a child's predicaments can often be found in their own bodies. Just as Rapunzel used her hair, children can use their own bodies as sources of security and comfort.

Modern Versions of the Tale
  • The Tower Room a novel by Adele Geras (1992)

  • Zel a novel by Donna Napoli (1996)

  • "Rapunzel's Revenge" a short story by Brendan DuBois (1998)

  • "Rapunzel's Revenge" a short story by the Fleet Street Fairies (1985)

  • "Rapunzel" a poem by Olga Broumas (1977)

  • "Rapunzel" a poem by Anne Sexton (1979)

Zel City

The citizens of Zel City are very proud of their place in the annals of traditional folklore. The "Rapunzel" story has been a source both of civic pride and revenues. The revenues are generated mostly by the large number of tourists, many with children in tow, who visit Zel City every year. Many academic researchers and literature fans also arrive in Zel City to study at the Rapunzelica, known far and wide as a first-rate institution for the study and research of things Rapunzelian. The Rapunzelica's collection of Rapunzel-related art is probably the most complete of any collection in the world.

While in Zel City do not forget to eat at the Rapunzel Diner, known locally and globally as a great place for garlic mashed potatos. Also, sign-up for the tour of The Tower. Fortunately you don't have to climb up using the Rapunzel hair replica. A modern and efficient escalator or elevator will take you up and down from the lonely room Rapunzel was forced to live in.

The Rapunzeloids

The RAPUNZELOIDS were created in the laboratories of the Cosmic Baseball Research Alliance. Making use of existing documentary descriptions a family tree was created and from that tree the team of Rapunzeloids has been derived.

Rapunzel  has been classified as a Type 310 Tale (Magic Tales) using the Aarne-Thompson Folktale Classification System.


by Anne Sexton
A woman
who loves a woman
is forever young.
The mentor
and the student
feed off each other.
Many a girl
had an old aunt
who locked her in the study
to keep the boys away.
They would play rummy
or lie on the couch
and touch and touch.
Old breast against young breast...
Let your dress fall down your shoulder,
come touch a copy of you
for I am at the mercy of rain,
for I have left the three Christs of Ypsilanti
for I have left the long naps of Ann Arbor
and the church spires have turned to stumps.
The sea bangs into my cloister
for the politicians are dying,
and dying so hold me, my young dear,
hold me...
The yellow rose will turn to cinder
and New York City will fall in
before we are done so hold me,
my young dear, hold me.
Put your pale arms around my neck.
Let me hold your heart like a flower
lest it bloom and collapse.
Give me your skin
as sheer as a cobweb,
let me open it up
and listen in and scoop out the dark.
Give me your nether lips
all puffy with their art
and I will give you angel fire in return.
We are two clouds
glistening in the bottle glass.
We are two birds
washing in the same mirror.
We were fair game
but we have kept out of the cesspool.
We are strong.
We are the good ones.
Do not discover us
for we lie together all in green
like pond weeds.
Hold me, my young dear, hold me.
They touch their delicate watches
one at a time.
They dance to the lute
two at a time.
They are as tender as bog moss.
They play mother-me-do
all day.
A woman
who loves a woman
is forever young.
Once there was a witch's garden
more beautiful than Eve's
with carrots growing like little fish,
with many tomatoes rich as frogs,
onions as ingrown as hearts,
the squash singing like a dolphin
and one patch given over wholly to magic --
rampion, a kind of salad root
a kind of harebell more potent than penicillin,
growing leaf by leaf, skin by skin.
as rapt and as fluid as Isadoran Duncan.
However the witch's garden was kept locked
and each day a woman who was with child
looked upon the rampion wildly,
fancying that she would die
if she could not have it.
Her husband feared for her welfare
and thus climbed into the garden
to fetch the life-giving tubers.
Ah ha, cried the witch,
whose proper name was Mother Gothel,
you are a thief and now you will die.
However they made a trade,
typical enough in those times.
He promised his child to Mother Gothel
so of course when it was born
she took the child away with her.
She gave the child the name Rapunzel,
another name for the life-giving rampion.
Because Rapunzel was a beautiful girl
Mother Gothel treasured her beyond all things.
As she grew older Mother Gothel thought:
None but I will ever see her or touch her.
She locked her in a tower without a door
or a staircase. It had only a high window.
When the witch wanted to enter she cried
Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair.
Rapunzel's hair fell to the ground like a rainbow.
It was as strong as a dandelion
and as strong as a dog leash.
Hand over hand she shinnied up
the hair like a sailor
and there in the stone-cold room,
as cold as a museum,
Mother Gothel cried:
Hold me, my young dear, hold me,
and thus they played mother-me-do.

Years later a prince came by
and heard Rapunzel singing her loneliness.
That song pierced his heart like a valentine
but he could find no way to get to her.
Like a chameleon he hid himself among the trees
and watched the witch ascend the swinging hair.
The next day he himself called out:
Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair,
and thus they met and he declared his love.
What is this beast, she thought,
with muscles on his arms
like a bag of snakes?
What is this moss on his legs?
What prickly plant grows on his cheeks?
What is this voice as deep as a dog?
Yet he dazzled her with his answers.
Yet he dazzled her with his dancing stick.
They lay together upon the yellowy threads,
swimming through them
like minnows through kelp
and they sang out benedictions like the Pope.

Each day he brought her a skein of silk
to fashion a ladder so they could both escape.
But Mother Gothel discovered the plot
and cut off Rapunzel's hair to her ears
and took her into the forest to repent.
When the prince came the witch fastened
the hair to a hook and let it down.
When he saw Rapunzel had been banished
he flung himself out of the tower, a side of beef.
He was blinded by thorns that prickled him like tacks.
As blind as Oedipus he wandered for years
until he heard a song that pierced his heart
like that long-ago valentine.
As he kissed Rapunzel her tears fell on his eyes
and in the manner of such cure-alls
his sight was suddenly restored.

They lived happily as you might expect
proving that mother-me-do
can be outgrown,
just as the fish on Friday,
just as a tricycle.
The world, some say,
is made up of couples.
A rose must have a stem.

As for Mother Gothel,
her heart shrank to the size of a pin,
never again to say: Hold me, my young dear,
hold me,
and only as she dreamed of the yellow hair
did moonlight sift into her mouth.

Commentary on the poem

Anne Sexton is the field manager of the Vestal Virgins, the Cosmic Baseball Association's team of interesting women.
An Interview with Ms. Sexton took place in March, 2000.

Link to Season 2002 Final Team Stats

Link to Season 2002 Main Plate

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Zel City Rapunzeloids Season 2002 Official Cosmic Team Roster
Published: February 11, 2002
Copyright © 2002 by the Cosmic Baseball Association