Opening the tower’s shutters (百叶窗), Rapunzel leaned out over the windowsill (窗台), breathing in (吸入) the fresh morning air. It seemed to smell better out there than inside the tower, and the air always felt cooler and fresher at the window. From a potted (盆栽的) strawberry plant next to her, a tiny green chameleon (变色龙) named Pascal (帕斯卡) came out to greet her. Pascal was Rapunzel’s only friend, and he looked up at her happily, blinking his big eyes. He could turn almost any color. Now, sensing (感觉到) her mood, he turned a bright yellow.
Pascal knew, as always (一如既往), exactly what was best for Rapunzel. She wanted to go outside!
Pascal skittered (轻快地跑) over the windowsill and gestured (示意) for her to come out of the tower with him. But Rapunzel shook her head. She couldn’t go out.
She needed Mother Gothel’s permission (准许). Pascal slumped (重重地坐下) a bit.
“Oh, come on, Pascal,” she said cheerfully (愉快地) to the little chameleon as she motioned (打手势) to him to come back inside the tower. “It’s not that bad.”
She used her golden hair to pull a lever (操作杆). Thick wooden shutters that covered the windows over her head at the tower’s peak (尖端) burst open (猛然打开). The tower was flooded with (充满) sunlight, glittering specks (微粒) of dust filling the air. Their day was about to begin—the day she would ask Mother Gothel to take her to see the sparkling lights!
The tower made a small living space—it was tall but narrow. On the main level, there was a small kitchen, along with a living room that had a giant fireplace. The window through which Mother Gothel entered and exited (离开) the tower was off to one side (在一侧). Mother Gothel slept in a bedroom on this cozy (舒适的) level of the tower.
Up a set of winding wooden stairs was a small loft (阁楼) where Rapunzel slept. Here she also had a box of paints, a guitar, and a little bed for Pascal.
Rapunzel kept herself busy every day. But today Pascal felt her excitement (兴奋) as she rushed through (匆忙完成) her chores (家务), cleaning, sweeping, dusting the furniture, waxing (给…打蜡) the floors made of thick golden wood and shining stone, and washing her single, pale purple (淡紫色) dress. Then she sat down to play her guitar. She was self-taught (自学的), of course, but the melodies (旋律) that floated from the strings (弦) were beautiful.
She had a few puzzles (拼图玩具) that she put together and took apart regularly (不断地). When she started feeling a bit pent up (压抑的), she often turned to her darts (飞镖). She had quite good aim and placed her targets in every nook (角落) and cranny (裂缝) to challenge herself with increasing (不断增加的) levels of difficulty (难度等级). Someday she might just create a dart that could fly across the valley and hit one of the far walls of the cliffs. But that day was a long way off (离得很远). In the meantime, Rapunzel also loved to read! She had exactly three books, all completely memorized (熟记)—one on culinary (烹饪的) arts, which helped her with her cooking, one about geology (地质学); and the third about botany (植物学). Her favorite was the botany book. It had the best colors and explained about things that grew outside!
Pascal tried to be patient as Rapunzel did the same things over and over again (来回来去), but sometimes he couldn’t help rolling his eyes (翻白眼). It was boring!—especially when she had to brush her hair for hours on end (连续地).
This morning, when she was finally done with all her chores, her guitar, her puzzles and books, her hair ... Rapunzel smiled at Pascal. As usual, she had saved the best for last (把最好的留到最后): painting! It was her passion (热衷的爱好). The tower’s walls were covered with her art. Tossing (抛) a length of (一段) golden hair over one of the rafters, she hoisted herself up (把…升起来) toward her favorite mural (壁画).
But today, as she pulled back the red curtain that covered the painting, she looked at it differently. The image was a replica (翻版) of the view from her window—a night scene (夜景) showing the glowing lights rising into the sky.
Pulling out her paints, she spotted a small blank space (空白处) that she wanted to fill. When she finished, she had added a small picture of herself ready to enter the forest beyond the tunnel—to see the world outside her little valley.
Suddenly, Rapunzel heard her mother’s voice. “Rapunzel!” Mother Gothel called from outside the tower. “Rapunzel! Let down (放下) your hair!”
Rapunzel gasped. The moment had finally arrived! She took a deep breath and turned to Pascal, who gave her a brave little smile.